Italy Under 21s 1-0 England Under 21s
England will leave Italy this evening feeling gutted as they lost by a single goal thanks to a late and needless penalty.
The game was very long and boring in stages and it was on 87 minutes that Italy eventually broke the deadlock.
It was a stonewall decision as Ben Mee needlessly fouled Gianetti to give Federico Macheda the chance to secure an Italy win.
An unstoppable shot to England goalkeeper, Frank Fielding’s, right hand side was enough to silence England.
Jack Rodwell was taken off injured on his debut after only nine minutes and was replaced by Jack Cork, who doesn’t often favour the centre back position.
Cork looked shaky and allowed the Italians to fire in some early shots at Watford goalkeeper, Fielding. Misuraca found space on the edge of the area but was unable to find the net.
Although England were not creating much early on, it was positive to see some nice simple football being played.
Bright spark Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was introduced to the game after 62 minutes and brought the game to life. The Saints man was making impressive runs through the Italy defence. His crosses were almost perfect, they just lacked someone getting on the end of them.
Italian’s Crescenzi and Donati doubled up on the 17-year-old to try and control him, but Chamberlain escaped their wrath and kept getting involved in any bright moments England had.
With ten minutes remaining, Italian goalkeeper Pinsoglio still hadn’t made a save. Nevertheless, England goalkeeper Fielding had only made one.
It’s worth noting that Italy haven’t qualified for this summer’s Under 21 European Championship in Denmark. England used the friendly match as preparation for the game as they are eager to deliver some silverware.
The scoreline was not a fair reflection of the game as 0-0 would have been much more fitting. Football has once again proved to be unpredictable and we should learn that if you don’t take your chances, you will be punished.
England: Fielding, Naughton, Bennett, Rodwell, Mee, Muamba, Albrighton, Lansbury, McEachran, Vaughan, Delfouneso. Subs: Loach, Howson, Trippier, Cork, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rodriguez, Sinclair, Steele.
Referee: Antonio Miguel