Nazionale U21

Scamacca goal enough for Italy to win qualifier in Armenia

The Azzurrini had chances to extend the lead but ran the risk of conceding at the end

Monday, October 14, 2019

Scamacca goal enough for Italy to win qualifier in Armenia

A Gianluca Scammaca goal saw the Under-21 National Team win for the second time in qualification for the European Championship to move second behind group leaders Ireland who are ahead by three points and with a game in hand. Following the 0-0 draw last Thursday in Dublin, Italy returned to scoring in Yerevan and wasted at least six chances to hit a second before a late scare when a left-foot Bichakhchyan strike hit the bar. The road to EURO 2021 is still a long one but it could be an important result.

“Compared to the Ireland match, we improved and created more chances but we weren’t able to take them and anything can happen in these cases when one shot can peg you back. The guys didn’t shine physically but they’ve been ten difficult days because of the travelling and the illness that affected some of the players.”

THE MATCH.  Without the suspended Kean and the injured Marchizza while Tonali had moved up to the senior side. Nicolato made five changes compared to the Ireland game. In front of the goalkeeper Carnesecchi, the centre-back pairing consisted of Bastoni and Ranierei with Adjapong and Luca Pellegrini at full-back. Locatelli was the main playmaker alongside Zaneallato and Frattesi with Sottil, Cutrone and Scammaca up front.

Italy’s high pressing affected Armenia’s attempts at build-up play and the first chance came three minutes as Sottil fired wide after being played through by Scammaca. In the eighth minute, the Azzurrini went close to taking the lead. Locatelli hit the cross, it was cleared by Aslanyan before a Zanellato volley that was cleared off the line by Daniielian. A goal was in the air and it came in the 20th minute. Zanellato played it to Sottil on the right who crossed it to Scammaca who headed in. A minute later, Italy could have made it two but Cutrone couldn’t make the most of a mistake by the Armenian defence and his chip was saved by Aslanyan. The Wolverhampton Wanderers forward tried against but Aslanyan saved again. The Azzurrini were in control but Armenia had their own chances and Rudik Mkrtchyan saw a long-range shot turned over by Carnesecchi before a Bichakchyan free kick went over. In the 39th minute, Pellegrini carried the ball forward on the flank before playing a perfect cross to Scamacca who missed from close range.

In the second half, Cutrone again called the Armenian goalkeeper into action twice. Italy were on top but ran the risk of the conceding on the break. In the 74th minute, Luca Pellegrini had a chance to finish it but fired over from a great position. After a number of missed chances, Bichakhchyan almost came up with an equaliser with a side-foot effort only for the crossbar to save Carnesecchi. Italy could breathe a sigh of relief and leave with three valuable points.



Goals: 20’ Scamacca (I)

Armenia: Aslanyan; A.Mkrtchyan, Khachumyan, Daniielian, E. Grigoryan; Harutyunyan (80’ Movsesyan), R. Mkrtchyan; Melkonyan, Bichakhchyan, Nahapetyan (72, Misakyan); Hovhannisyan. Substitutes: M. Grigoryan, Nazaryan, Vardanyan, Ghubasaryan, Sadoyan, Khamoyan, Asilyan. Coach: Antonio Lozano Flores.

Italy: Carnesecchi; Adjapong, Bastoni, Ranieri, Luca Pellegrini (75’ Sala); Locatelli, Zanellato (86’ Carraro), Frattesi (63’ Maggiore); Sottil (86’ Bettella), Cutrone, Scamacca (76’ Pinamonti). Substitutes: Plizzari, Gabbia, Maistro, Delprato. Coach: Paolo Nicolato.

Referee: Adám Farkas (HUN). Assistants: Istvan Albert (HUN) and Balázs Szert (HUN). Fourth official: Csaba Pintér (HUN).
Notes:  Bookigns: Pellegrini (I), Daniielian (A), Khachumyan (A).