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13.10.2020 at 16:30 Arena Garibaldi - Stadio Romeo Anconetani, Pisa Attendance:
Italy 2 - 0 Under 21
Referee: Krzystof Jakubik (Poland European Qualifier-match

Sottil(43) mins,
Cutrone(62) mins,
Opening squads
Michele Cerofolini (GK)
Alessandro Vogliacco
Gianluca Frabotta
Sandro Tonali
Alessandro Buongiorno
Lorenzo Pirola
Samuele Birindelli
Samuele Ricci
Patrick Cutrone
Simone Muratore
Riccardo Sottil
Gavin Bazunu
Nathan Collins
Darragh Leahy
Conor Masterson
Lee O Connor
Conor Coventry
Zach Elbouzedi
Jack Taylor
Connor Ronan
Will Smallbone
Michael Obafemi
Federico Brancolini (G)
Sebastiano Esposito
Caleb Okoli
Pietro Beruatto
Tommaso Pobega
Hans Nicolussi
Manolo Portanova
Giacomo Raspadori
Emanuel Vignato
Ed Mc Ginty
Liam Scales
Danny Mc Namara
Thomas O Connor
Dan Mandroiu
Will Ferry
Danny Grant
Jonathan Afolabi
Joshua Kayode
Manolo Portanova (in) - Simone Muratore (out) 46 mins,
Giacomo Raspadori (in) - Riccardo Sottil (out) 83 mins,
Hans Nicolussi (in) - Samuele Ricci (out) 88 mins,
Jonathan Afolabi -> Michael Obafemi (74)
Dan Mandroiu -> Jack Taylor (75)
Danny Grant -> Connor Ronan (75)
Yellow cards
Lorenzo Pirola 20 mins,
Michele Cerofolini 77 mins
Lee O Connor (64)
Nathan Collins (68)
Red cards
None None.
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report | Preview

Pictures from the match
Jim Crawford first game as manager of Under 21's

Clinical finishing from the home team proved to be the difference as Riccardo Sottil and Patrick Cutrone scored one each to secure the three points.

In what was Jim Crawford’s first game in charge, Ireland started well and saw midfielder Jack Taylor volley wide inside the opening 10 minutes.

However, it was the home team who controlled the tempo for the most part in spite of the positive approach adopted by Crawford’s side, who were set up to play on the front foot.

Ireland deserved to make it to the break on level terms but Sottil spoiled that when he made amends for an earlier miss by firing in a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.

Upon returning for the second period, Ireland continued to link play with some nice passing and worked hard to match their opponents in every area. But they could not create too many clear-cut chances on goal.

On 62 minutes, Sottil got in behind on Ireland’s left side and produced a low cross for Cutrone to direct the ball past Bazunu after he got in front of Nathan Collins.

Ireland almost got one back straight away when Zach Elbouzedi found space on the edge of the opponents’ penalty area and unloaded a shot at goal, but goalkeeper Michele Cerofolini saved well.

Crawford looked to freshen things up by introducing three players in quick succession and one of those, Danny Mandriou, had a shot blocked as they looked to mount some pressure.

Italy hung on to win the game and they move into top spot in Group 1 on goal difference as they are now on 16 points alongside Ireland.

Next up home for Ireland is a home game against Iceland on November 12 before finishing the group away to Luxembourg five days later.

Italy: Cerofolini; Vogliacco, Buongiorno, Pirola; Birindelli, Ricci (Nicolussi 88), Tonali, Muratore (Portanova 46), Frabotta; Cutrone, Sottil (Raspadori 83).

Republic of Ireland: Bazunu; L O’Connor, Collins, Masterson, Leahy; Taylor (Mandriou 75), Coventry; Smallbone, Ronan (Grant 75), Elbouzedi; Obafemi (Afolabi 74).

Referee: Krzystof Jakubik (Poland).
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