Nazionale U19

U-19 EURO: Portanova, Merola and Raspadori sink Armenia

Italy responded after losing to Portugal and must now beat Spain on Saturday

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

U-19 EURO: Portanova, Merola and Raspadori sink Armenia

Italy had to win and did so. The Azzurrini were able to control the game against Armenia who had the backing of the home crowd, scoring four and conceding zero. Portanova scored a brace alongside Merola and Raspadori goals. It’s a win that keeps Italy in with a chance of going through and a win will be required Saturday against Spain to make the semi-finals after they drew 1-1 with Portugal.

Nunziata switched things up with four new players to reinvigorate the side physically. Gavioli came in for Gabriele Ferrarini at the back alongside Bellodi and Gozzi Iweru in the middle with Udogie on the left. In midfield, Fagioli, Ricci and Portanova started. The attack was completely changed with Petrelli in the middle, Merola on the right and Raspadori on the left.

Italy started strongly and put the Armenian defence under pressure. In the 14th minute, Petrelli sent Merola through against the goalkeeper but his chip went just wide. The Inter forward did it again in the 18th minute after being set up by Raspadori but his effort was saved. The opening goal came in the 29th minute when an inspired Raspadori picked Portanova out just outside the box and he fired into the opposite goal. The goal fired the Azzurrini up and the second goal followed soon after in the 32nd minute with a Merola back heel from Ferrarini’s pass. 

Italy were two up at the break and it was the same story in the second half. The third goal came in the 56th minute. Pettrelli’s shot was saved by Melkonyan but the rebound fell for Portanova who finished for his second. In the 69th minute, Raspadori was set up by Petrelli and he finished past Melkonyan.

Carmine Nunziata was satisfied and full of praise for his players. “I’m happy with how the team dealt with a match that wasn’t to be taken for granted from a psychological perspective. Now, we have the decisive match against Spain waiting for us and we’ll play with the same determination as today.”

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Goals:  Portanova 29’ and 56’, Merola 32’, Raspadori 69’

ARMENIA (4-4-2): Melkonyan, Oganessian, Ghubasaryan ( Styopa Mkrtchyan 55’), Yeghiazaryan (C), Ghazaryan, Azizyan (Alaverdyan 76’), Khamoyan, Mkrtichyan, Grigoryan, Kurbashyan (Kolozyan 76’), Hovhannissyan (Petrosyan 55’). Coach. Voskanyan. Substitutes. Hovhannissyan, Samsonyan, Khachatryan, Misakyan, Dermedjan.  

ITALY (4-3-3): Carnesecchi (C), Ferrarini,  Bellodi, Gozzi Iweru, Udogie(Corrado 72’); Fagioli(Gavioli 62’), Ricci, Portanova (Armini 80’); Merola (Greco 62’), Petrelli, Raspadori (Salcedo 72’). Coach. Nunziata. Substitutes. Russo, Corbo, Nicolussi Caviglia, Piccoli.

Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)

Group A

Matchday One (Sunday 14 July)
Armenia 1-4 Spain

ITALY 0-3 Portugal

Matchday Two (Wednesday 17 July)
Portugal 1-1 Spain, Banants Stadium
Armenia 0-4 ITALY, Republican Stadium

Table: Spain and Portugal 4 points, ITALY 3 and Armenia 0

Matchday Three (Saturday 20 July)
Portugal vs. Armenia: 19:00, Republican Stadium
Spain vs. Italy: 19:00, FFA Academy Stadium

Semi-finals (Wednesday 24 July)
16:00 Banants Stadium
19:00 Republican Stadium

Final (Saturday 27 July)
18:30: Republican Stadium

N.B. - The winner of Group A will face the runner-up from Group B and vice versa. The venues will be confirmed after the group stage.