Italy U21 Qualify for European Championship in Style


Italy has qualified for the European U-21 Championship 2023 group phase after sweeping the Republic of Ireland aside 4-1 for consolidating the top spot in the group. Both teams had been guaranteed at least the play-off. However, Azzurrini knew a point is going to be enough to secure the top spot in the group and thus, automatic qualification to the group phase in Georgia and Romania in June 2023.

The angled drive of Pietro Pellegri forced a tricky save in the opening a few minutes, then Nicolo Cambiaghi grilled wide and Andrea Cambiaso simply failed to reach a cross 6 yards out. Mark McGuinness, on a corner, hauled down Caleb Okoli for a penalty with arms around his shoulders and neck. Geno and Nicolo Rovella, the future Juventus converted to put Italy in front.

Cambiaghi with a splendid strike, made 2-0, from outside the box, which bounced right in front of the goalkeeper, who flapped it when it flew into the near bottom corner. Another Cambiaghi curler has been finger-tipped only over the bar and within 38 seconds of the restart, Pellegri had received the third from a closer range after the goalkeeper and defender failed to deal with the run of Cambiaghi.

It was a few nightmare couples of minutes for Matta Viti, first turning a free header over, fully mistiming his tackle for bringing down William Smallbone for a striking penalty that had been converted by Conor Coventry. In the Under-21 level, Fabio Quagliata celebrated his first goal, his cheeky dummy wrong-footing defenders. It had been the first time in this cycle of two years that Italy scored 4 goals in total. When the final whistle had blown, the whole team and staff stood in a circle on the pitch and sang their Italian anthem.