U20 Elite League: Italy held to 1-1 draw by Portugal

A lot of good signs for the Azzurrini, but no winner. Italy were the better team but ultimately couldn't break Portugal down

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

U20 Elite League: Italy held to 1-1 draw by Portugal

Italy U20 were held to a 1-1 draw by Portugal at the Stadio Benito Stirpe in Frosinone. The Azzurrini were on the front foot for most of the game – especially in the second half – but couldn’t get the winner against a Portugal side that rarely ventured into the Italy half. Italy took the lead in injury time in the first half but conceded just a minute later after Ponsi deflected the ball into his own net.

Bollini went with a 4-3-3 with Gelmi in goal; Ghislandi, Riccio, Dalle Mura and Ponsi in defence; Bianco, Gyabuaa and Milanese in midfield; and Cangiano, Di Serio and Tongya in attack. Italy started well and threatened in the fifth minute through Milanese, who forced the goalkeeper into a splendid save. Tongya then had a chance from inside the box but his shot was blocked. The game proceeded with very few chances until the first minute of added time; Gyabuaa’s cross found Tongya, who fired home from close range. There was hardly time to blink and Portugal got themselves level. Cruz sent the ball into the box from a free-kick and Ponsi, in the confusion, put the ball into his own net.

It was level at the break and Bollini reacted by making five changes at half time. Italy came out from the dressing rooms with renewed energy and intensity, hemming Portugal inside their own half. André Amaro received a red card in the 52nd minute but the Azzurrini couldn’t break Portugal’s stiff resistance. It ended 1-1.

Next up for Italy in the Elite League: Czech Republic on 11 November

Italy 1-1 Portugal

Goals: 45'+1 Tongya, 45'+2 og. Ponsi

ITALY (4-3-3): Gelmi; Ghislandi, Riccio, Dalle Mura (46' Viti), Ponsi (46' Barbieri); Gyabuaa (46' Cortinovis [C]), Bianco (46' Leone), Milanese (66' Milanese); Cangiano (C) (46' Oristanio), Di Serio, Tongya (66' Cudrig).
Subs.: Garofani (GK), Bouah, Armini, Pecorino, Rinaldi (GK), Sekulov.
All.: Bollini.

PORTUGAL (4-3-3) : Samuel Soares; Filipe Cruz (C), Rafael Fernandes, André Amaro, Rafael Rodrigues (56' Diogo Fonseca); João Daniel, Bernardo Folha (75' Duarte Carvalho), Brazão (62' Henrique Pereira); Guilherme Guedes (22' Diogo Nascimento, 75' Hélder Sá), Jean-Marie (62' Agostinho), Bernardo Couto (56' Rodrigo Rego).
Subs.: José Oliveira (GK), Rodrigo Ferreira.
Coach: Emílio Peixe.

Referee: Francesco Fourneau; Linesmen: Damiano Margani and Pietro Dei Giudici; Foruth Official: Matteo Marchetti.

Notes: André Amaro sent off. Attendance: 600

Results and Standings

2 September

Poland 0-2 Italy

Romania 2-1 Portugal

Czech Republic 0-2 Germany

6 September

Germany 1-1 Norway

England 6-1 Romania

7 September

Portugal 0-0 Poland

7 October

England 1-1 Italy

Portugal 1-2 Norway

Romania 2-1 Czech Republic

Poland 0-0 Germany

11 October

Czech Republic 0-5 England

Germany 4-0 Romania

Norway 1-5 Poland

12 October

Italy 1-1 Portugal

Standings: Germany 8 pts, England 7, Romania 6, Poland 5, Italia 5, Norway 4,  Portugal 2, Czech Republic 0