Under-19 National Team. Italy suffer narrow defeat to Spain and are eliminated from the European ChampionshipSpain turn things around in the second half to win 2-1 and send the Azzurrini home
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Italy have been eliminated from the European Championship. At the FFA Academy Stadium in Yerevan, the Azzurrini were narrowly defeated (2-1) by Spain, who have thus progressed to the semi-finals. Nunziata’s side actually took a lead into the break but then went on to lose the match as a result of two unfortunate incidents: an unlucky own goal by Gavioli and a penalty awarded to the Spaniards by Bosnian referee Peljto.
Carmine Nunziata stuck with the same team that played with spirit and determination against hosts Armenia following an opening day defeat to Portugal (3-0). And Italy started the match well, pressing high and controlling things in midfield. With nine minutes on the clock, Merola’s volley flew just over following a set piece from the left. After 15 minutes, Spain began to impose their game on the Azzurrini: Italy’s defenders were put under constant pressure, with Miranda and Gil in particular causing problems down the left. Nunziata’s team could have fallen behind in the 29th minute, but Moha’s lob was just off target after Carnesecchi had looked to come out and claim a cross. In the 35th minute, the deadlock was broken: Merola was fouled on the edge of the box by Guillamon, with the Inter player then stepping up and firing the resulting free kick past Spanish goalkeeper Tenas. It was a lead that Italy managed to take into half-time as they continued to look to come forward and keep Spain at bay.
The Spaniards then started the second half in an aggressive fashion. Carnesecchi had to be on hand to deny Moha in the 47th minute before he kept out Miranda’s close-range effort just before the hour mark, putting the ball behind for a corner. From this, Spain grabbed the equaliser as Gavioli unluckily diverted the ball into his own net. After 68 minutes, Udogie fouled Ruiz in the penalty area. The Barcelona player then scored from the spot to give Spain the lead. Following this, Nunziata looked to shake things up, bringing on Piccoli and Salcedo to strengthen the Azzurrini’s attack. However, Italy were dealt a huge blow in the 83rd minute as Udogie received his second yellow card and marching orders from referee Peljto. Italy continued to fight until the last despite being down to ten men, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. The Azzurrini go out with their heads held high.
This is what Head Coach Carmine Nunziata had to say following the match: “The lads played really well, they gave everything and caused a great side in Spain problems. We were excellent but it wasn’t enough unfortunately. However, many underage players (born in 2001) have had a great experience at this European Championship and they can take this with them.”
SPAIN 2-1 ITALY
Goalscorers: Merola 35’, Gavioli (own goal) 61’, Ruiz 68’(pen.)
SPAIN (4-3-3): Tenas, Sanchez ( 46’Gomez), Guillamon, Garcia, Miranda; Sergio Gomes, Blanco (74’ Orellana), Moha (91’ Mollejo); Torres, Ruiz (C, 91’ Chust), Gil (86’ Marques). Head Coach. Denia. Subs. Fernandez, Sanz, Gutierrez, Barrenetxea.
ITALY (4-3-3): Carnesecchi (C), Ferrarini, Bellodi, Gozzi Iweru, Udogie; Fagioli (86’ Corrado), Ricci, Portanova; Merola (70’Piccoli), Petrelli (52’ Gavioli), Raspadori (70’Salcedo). Head Coach. Nunziata. Subs. Russo, Armini, Corbo, Greco, Nicolussi Caviglia.
Referee: Irfan Peljto (BHI). Bookings: Ferrarini, Guillamon, Blanco, Merola, Gomez, Fagioli, Garcia, Ricci. Sent off: Udogie
Sunday 14 July
Armenia 1-4 Spain
Italy 0-3 Portugal
Wednesday 17 July
Portugal 1-1 Spain
Armenia 0-4 Italy
Saturday 20 July
Portugal 4-0 Armenia
Spain 2-1 Italy
Standings: Portugal and Spain 7, Italy 3, Armenia 0
Wednesday 24 July:
16:00, Banants Stadium
19:00, Republican Stadium
Saturday 27 July:
18:30, Republican Stadium