Nazionale U17

Italy brilliant to beat Poland despite being a man down

The Azzurrini were down to 10 men after Natali was sent off at the start of the second half but anyway win their debut groupstage game

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Italy brilliant to beat Poland despite being a man down

A tremendous display of character by the Italy Under 17's which, despite being down a player due to the sending off of Andrea Natali (Barcelona) on 53', secured a 2-0 victory over Poland thanks to goals from Mattia Mosconi (Inter) on 5' and Federico Coletta (Roma) in the 72' in their opening match of the final stage of the European Championship held at the AEK Arena in Larnaca. The Azzurrini, due to the 0-0 draw between Slovakia and Sweden in the afternoon, are currently first in Group C.

Massimiliano Favo, tecnico della Nazionale Under 17

"Taking the lead almost immediately made us think that the match would be easier, but it wasn't, especially after the red card, which frankly, I want to review. We won thanks to an extremely hard-fought performance. These guys have incredible energy" emphasised coach Massimiliano Favo.

MATCH REPORT. Italy started strong and, after a dangerous shot by Liberali early on, took the lead in the 5th minute thanks to the captain. Mosconi finished first time with his left following great play by Di Nunzio down the left flank. Poland responded and came very close to equalising around 15', first with Brzyski following a poor clearance by Longoni. Pietuszewski's also had a header flash wide from a Szczepaniak cross from the right. At the half-hour mark, the Azzurrini threatened again with Mosconi, whose left-footed cross-shot narrowly missed to the right. In the final minutes of the first half, after a long-range effort from the busy Brzyski went over, Longoni made a stunning save to deny Adkonis's right-footed effort from the edge of the area at the end of 45' and Pietuszewski's left-footed effort in stoppage time.

Federico Coletta, autore del raddoppio azzurro

In the second half, after another dangerous left-footed shot by Liberali was saved and an acrobatic attempt by Campaniello went over the bar, Favo's boys were reduced to ten men due to Natali's red card for a tackle on Izunwanne near the left edge of the Azzurri penalty area. The numerical disadvantage was felt, and in the 59', it took another fantastic save by Longoni to keep out Mazurek's header from a Dziewiatowski cross from the right, tipping it over from under the crossbar. Italy stubbornly resisted the Polish attacks and deservedly found the second goal in the 72'. Ballo, who had come on for Emanuel in the 61', miraculously blocked an opponent's shot before setting up the counter-attack, delivering a precise low cross back to Coletta, who scored with a right-footed tap-in from near the penalty spot. With less than a minute to go, Poland had one last chance with Gieroba, whose left-footed shot in a one-on-one with the Azzurri's number 12 hit the base of the right post just before the Italian celebrations began.

Italy will return to the field on Friday 24 May (17:00 CEST) at the Dasaki Achnas Stadium against Slovakia, before facing Sweden on Monday 27 May (17:00 CEST) at the Paralimni Municipal Stadium Tasos Markou.

La Nazionale Under 17 sul terreno dell'AEK Arena di Larnaca


Italy: Longoni; Emanuel (61' Ballo), Cama (89' Orlandi), Mantini, Garofalo, Coletta, Di Nunzio (89' Sala), Liberali (55' Nardin), Mosconi ©, Natali, Campaniello (61' Lauricella). Unused subs: Pessina (GK), Verde, Lontani. Coach: Massimiliano Favo.

Poland: Pruchniewski; Szwiec, Dziewiatowski ©, Potulski, Szczepaniak (72' Sarapata), Pietuszewski (86' Wróblewski), Adkonis, Izunwanne (72' Gieroba), Kriegler, Mazurek D. (72' Jakóbczyk), Brzyski (86' Mazurek B.). Unused subs: Jeleń (GK), Mońka, Leszczyński. Coach: Rafał Lasocki.

Goals: 5' Mosconi, 72' Coletta.

Referee: Miguel Nogueira (POR). Assistant referees: Nelson Pereira (POR), Turkka Valjakka (FIN). Fourth Official: Mohammed Al-emara (FIN).

Note: Bookings Emanuel (It), Garofalo (It). Red card: Natali 53' (It).

UEFA European Under-17 Championship

Group Stage

Group A: Cyprus, Ukraine, Serbia, and Czech Republic.
Group B: Denmark, Austria, Croatia, and Wales.
Group C: ITALY, Sweden, Slovakia, and Poland.
Group D: France, Portugal, Spain, and England.

Group C Schedule

Matchday 1 (Tuesday 21 May)

Slovakia 0-0 Sweden

ITALY 2-0 Poland 

Standings: ITALY 3, Slovakia 1, Sweden 1, Poland 0.

Matchday 2 (Thursday 24 May)

17:00 CEST: ITALY vs. Slovakia, Dasaki Achnas Stadium in Dasaki
17:00 CEST: Sweden vs. Poland, AEK Arena in Larnaca

Matchday 3 (Monday 27 May)

17:00 CEST: Sweden vs. ITALY, Paralimni Municipal Stadium Tasos Markou in Paralimni
17:00 CEST: Poland vs. Slovakia, Dasaki Achnas Stadium in Dasaki

Knockout phase

Quarter-finals (Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 May)

Semi-finals (Sunday 2 June)

Final (Wednesday 5 June)