Nazionale U17

U17s score late penalty to qualify for Euro finals

A 2-2 draw against Finland to seal top spot. Favo: “Real satisfaction”

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

U17s score late penalty to qualify for Euro finals

Italy vs. Finland certainly wasn’t for the faint-hearted. The Azzurrini needed a draw to secure a spot in the finals in Cyprus (20 May to 5 June), while the hosts had to come away with a win to stand a chance. It was a hard-fought battle where Italy struggled to reach the heights of their previous two performances but didn’t give up, even when things became really complicated.

After Kirilov had hit the bar for Finland, the Azzurrini took the lead in the 18th minute: Mosconi sent in a cross that came off Kangasniemi and ended in the net. However, the Finns drew level after 26 minutes: Garofalo was - somewhat harshly - penalised for a foul on Velasquez, and Kirilov stepped up to covert the resulting penalty.

Massimiliano Favo’s side were controlling the pace of the game, but it was Finland who went ahead eleven minutes into the second half: Multala burst down the left, entered the box and tried to pick out Kirilov with a cross, but the ball ended up taking a fortunate trajectory and beating Pessina. Despite the setback, Italy continued to believe and, following a big chance for Campaniello with nine minutes of normal time remaining, were awarded a spot-kick after Liberali was brought down in the box. Camarda kept his cool from twelve yards out to equalise and secure a 2-2 draw. Belgium and the Netherlands also played out a 2-2 draw in the other group match, meaning the Belgians have finished second behind the Azzurrini, while Finland have come third and the Netherlands last. On 3 April, the draw for the final tournament will take place in Ayia Napa, Cyprus: Italy will be a top seed.

FAVO. Head Coach Massimiliano Favo had the following to say after the game: “We’re delighted, even if I’m not happy with our approach to today’s match. We needed to manage those who were one booking away from suspension so we wouldn’t have any big absences in Cyprus. In the end, we achieved our objective and, having finished top, will be a top seed in the draw. We know that we can still improve, even if we’ve made giant steps forward in terms of our character and determination. International football is evolving in a surprising way: every side is organised and possesses important technical qualities. For this reason, we’re delighted to have qualified. It’s a prestigious achievement, and the hard work we’re doing is paying off.”


Italy: Pessina, Benjamin, Natali, Garofalo, Lauricella, Sala (64' Mantini), Coletta, Atzeni (64' Di Nunzio), Ciardi (75' Liberali), Mosconi (75' Campaniello), Camarda (97' Nardin). Head Coach: Favo

Finland: Maukonen (87' Collin), Le Goff-Conan, Kangasniemi, Sandler, Parkkila, Velasquez (74' Vesterbacka), Siltanen, Weiss (95' Tulehmo), Koukkumaki (95' Mero), Multala (74' Romppanen), Kirilov. Head Coach: Lehtola

Goalscorers: 18’ own goal Kangasniemi (I), 26’ pen. Kirilov (F), 56' Multala (F), 91' pen. Camarda (I)

Referee: Alan Kijas (AUT). Assistants: Obritzberger (AUT), Djorovic (SRB). Fourth official: Pavle Ilic (SRB)

Note: Mosconi (I), Weiss (F) and Kangasniemi (F) booked

Elite round: Group 3 results and standings

Matchday one (Wednesday 20 March)

Netherlands 0-2 ITALY

Finland 0-1 Belgium

Matchday two (Saturday 23 March)

Belgium 3-5 ITALY

Netherlands 0-1 Finland

Matchday three (Tuesday 26 March)

Netherlands 2-2 Belgium

ITALY 2-2 Finland

Standings: ITALY 7, Belgium 4, Finland 4 and Netherlands 1