Italy U21 eliminated from European U21 Championship

Italy U21 were eliminated from the U21 European Championship after a 5-3 loss to Portugal.

The Azzurri scored twice behind but managed to recover and send the game into overtime.

Sandro Tonali, Gianluca Frabotta and Riccardo Marchizza were suspended for the Azzurrini, so Paolo Nicolato chose Tommaso Pobega, Raoul Bellanova and Marco Sala.

Rafael Leao from Milan started on the bench for Portugal but it was another familiar face for Italian football to injure the Azzurrini in the first half.

Monza striker Dany Mota scored twice in the first 30 minutes.

Both goals were scored from corner kicks. The first was a superb bicycle kick, while the second was a close range shot that gave Carnesecchi no chance.

The Lusitanos seemed in control, but Italy returned to the game thanks to a goal from Tommaso Pobega from another corner.

Diogo Costa brilliantly saved Davide Frattesi’s header from close range before Goncalo Ramos again doubled Portugal’s lead in the second half. The Portuguese took advantage of Diego Queiros’ ball to make his way between two Italian defenders.

However, Rai Sport showed his toe was millimeters ahead of the last defender, so the goal should have been called off for offside, if only there was VAR.

Portugal’s joy didn’t last long as Gianluca Scamacca scored a minute later, pulling an assist from Davide Frattesi into the net.

The Azzurrinis kept pushing, Paolo Nicolato threw on Riccardo Sottil and Patrick Cutrone in the final ten minutes and they were both decisive for the equalizer.

The Cagliari winger was sent running down the left flank and steered the ball squarely into the box, finding Cutrone at the near post.

Mattia Lovato saw red after snagging a second yellow card early in extra time, but it was again Cutrone who had the best luck after a fantastic individual effort that forced Diogo Costa to make a save at his far post.

Jota found the net in the second half of overtime by scooping the ball from Romario and beating Carnesecchi in a 1vs1 situation.

Italy threw everyone forward, with a goal and a man too, but Conceiçao, the son of former Lazio and Parma winger Sergio, found the net in the counter attack, reserving Portugal’s place in the semi-finals.

Portugal: Diogo Costa; Dalot, Diogo Queiros, Diogo Leite, Tomas Tavares; Gedson Fernandes (Jota 74), Daniel Bragança Romario 86), Vitinha; Fabio Vieira (Conceiçao 86); Gonçalo Ramos (Luis 69), Dany Mota (Leao 94).

Italy: Carnesecchi; Lovato, Del Prato, Ranieri; Bellanova (Zappa 75), Frattesi, Rovella (Cutrone 81), Pobega (Maggiore 75), Sala (Sottil 81); Raspadori, Scamacca (Ricci 91).

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