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14.06.2022 at 15:00 Stadio Cino e Lillo Del Duca, Ascoli, Attendance:
Italy 4 - 1 Under 21
Referee: Gergo Bogár (Hungary) European Qualifier-match

Rovella 20 mins (pen)
Cambiaghi 35 mins,
Pellegri 46 mins,
Quagliata 86 mins
Conor Coventry (62)
Opening squads
Brian Maher
Eiran Cashin
Joel Bagan
Mark Mc Guinness
Lee O Connor
William Smallbone
Conor Coventry
Tyriek Wright
Liam Kerrigan
Evan Ferguson
Gavin Kilkenny
Luke Mc Nicholas
Andy Lyons
Jake O Brien
Dawson Devoy
Oliver O Neill
Conor Noss
Ross Tierney
Mipo Odubeko
Joshua Kayode
Quagliata for Parisi 66 mins,
Miretti for Bove 66 mins;
Esposito for Pellegri 83 mins;
Colombo for Cambiaghi 88 mins;
Ranochchia for Rovella 88 mins
Andy Lyons -> Joel Bagan (46)
Mipo Odubeko -> Gavin Kilkenny (62)
Conor Noss -> Liam Kerrigan (62)
Joshua Kayode -> Evan Ferguson (74)
Jake O Brien -> Eiran Cashin (83)
Yellow cards
None Mark Mc Guinness (19)
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
Republic of Ireland Under-21s will face a two-legged play-off for a place in the U21 European Championship after a 4-1 defeat to Italy ended their hopes of automatic qualification.

Ireland were beaten by the Azzuri at the Cino e Lillo Del Dunca in Ascoli on Tuesday evening.

A win would have seen Ireland reach their first ever major tournament at this level but they will now battle it out in the play-offs in September as goals from Nicolo Rovella, Nicolo Cambiaghi, Pietro Pellegri, and Giacomo Quagliata ensured it was the Italians that finished top of Group F despite Conor Coventry’s second half penalty.

There wasn’t much between the sides inside the opening quarter of an hour and despite having more possession, Italy’s best chance came from a corner but Caleb Okoli could only send his header over the target.

But the home side were given the perfect opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute when Okoli was fouled by Mark McGuinness.

The referee pointed to the spot and Rovella curled his penalty into the bottom right corner.

The young Boys in Green reacted well to that setback as William Smallbone began to cause problems at the other end of the pitch but they would concede again with 35 minutes on the clock when Nicolo Cambiaghi’s low drive from 20 yards found the net via the inside of the left post.

McGuinness needed to produce a last-ditch block to deny Edoardo Bove’s thunderous goalbound effort shortly before Cambiaghi’s curler dropped just over the crossbar at the end of the first half.

It just wasn’t to be Ireland’s day as Italy made it 3-0 moments after the restart as Cambiaghi pounced on a mix-up between Maher and McGuinness which allowed Pietro Pellegri to finish from a few yards out.

The Republic, to their credit, battled until the end and they grabbed what would ultimately prove to be a consolation just past the hour when captain Conor Coventry drilled his spot kick into the bottom left corner after Smallbone was fouled.

But Italy sealed a victory in the closing stages when, after good work from Samuele Ricci, substitute Giacomo Quagliata allowed the ball to roll across his body to take him away from his marker and slotted it past the keeper from close range.

Ireland’s attention now turns to the play-off draw which takes place in Nyon on Tuesday, June 21 at 12pm Irish time.

Italy: Plizzari; Okoli, Pirola, Viti, Parisi (Quagliata 66); Cambiaso, Ricci, Rovella (Ranocchia 88), Bove (Miretti 66); Pellegri (Esposito 83), Cambiaghi (Colombo 88).

Republic of Ireland: Maher; O’Connor, Cashin (O’Brien 83), McGuinness, Bagan (Lyons ht); Smallbone, Coventry, Kilkenny (Odubeko 62), Wright; Kerrigan (Noss 62), Ferguson (Kayode 74).

Referee: Gergo Bogár (Hungary)
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