UEFA Under-19 EURO: Italy stun Spain to reach final

Italy defeated Spain by the odd goal in five in the second semi-final of the UEFA Under-19 Championship at the National Stadium on Thursday to set up a clash with Portugal in the final on Sunday. 

Italy were a better side throughout the first half, creating the better chances. Pio Esposito received a long throw by Michael Kayodeand tested Ibarne with a powerful header which was parried by the Spanish goalkeeper on the 8th minute. Five minutes later, another fine header by Esposito was neutralised by the Spanish goalkeeper. 

Eight minutes from the end of the first half, a Niccolo Pisilli angled shot from the right seemed to have beaten the Spanish goalkeeper but Ibarne held the ball on the goal-line. 

Seven minutes in the second half, Italy forged ahead when Luis Hasa served Samuele Vignato outside the area and the latter controlled, entered the area, pulling to the left before beating Bruno Ibarne with a diagonal shot.

The Spanish replied with a fine Ilias Akomach effort from outside the area which was neutralised by goalkeeper Davide Mastrantonio.

However Spain were not to be denied on the 58th minute when Victor Barbera received the ball in a central position inside the area and with a fine shot beat goalkeeper Mastrantonio. 

Italy were unlucky not to regain the lead on the 64th when off a cross by Iacopo Regonesi, Samuele Vignato served Nicolo Pisilli whose rising shot hit the crossbar and the goalkeeper but Ibarne somehow managed to hold the ball on the goal line. 

But two minutes later, Niccolo Pisilli entered the area and with a low shot in the bottom left corner.

Spain restored equilibrium on the 74th minute. Akomach delivered a freekick from the left and Yarek Gasiorowski slotted the ball past the Italian goalkeeper from close range. 

Five minutes from time, Italy made it 3-2. Luis Hasa delivered a corner from the right and substitute Luca Lipani head home past the Spanish goalkeeper. 

SPAIN Bruno Iribarne, Ivan Fresneda, Alex Valle, Arnau Casas, Yarek Gasiorowski, Gonzalo (57’ Dani Rodriguez), Manuel Angel (88’ David Jimenez), Victor Barbera (81’ Samuel Omorodion), Ilias Akomach, Dani Perez (57’ Assane Diao), Cesar Palacios (81’ Edgar Pujol).

ITALY Davide Mastrantonio, Filippo Missori, Iacopo Regonesi, Lorenzo Dellavalle, Alessandro Dellavalle, Luis Hasa, Pio Esposito (90+3’ Nicolo Turco), Samuele Vignato (69’ Luca Koleosho), Michael Kayode, Giacomo Faticanti (69’ Luca Lipani), Niccolo Pisilli (90+3’ Lorenzo Amatucci). 

Referee Yigal Frid ISR
Assistant referees:  Rafael Morim LUX, Robert Kempter GER
Fourth Officiall: Ishmael Barbara MLT

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