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Denmark joined by Italy after Cerri late show

Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 21.22CET
Hosts Denmark topped qualifying round Group 5 and were joined in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round draw by Italy after their 3-2 last-day defeat of Austria.
Denmark joined by Italy after Cerri late show
Thomas Frank led Denmark to last season's semi-finals ©Sportsfile
Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 21.22CET

Denmark joined by Italy after Cerri late show

Hosts Denmark topped qualifying round Group 5 and were joined in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round draw by Italy after their 3-2 last-day defeat of Austria.

Hosts Denmark topped UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round Group 5 and were joined in the 29 November elite round draw by Italy.

Denmark, semi-finalists last season, took first place with a game to spare by beating the Azzurrini 4-1 and Austria 2-1, both those teams having beaten Cyprus. Austria only needed a draw against Italy on the last day to pip their transalpine neighbours on goal difference and after recovering from a two-goal deficit appeared to have done enough to go through, but Alberto Cerri's added-time strike took Daniele Zoratto's side through instead.

In their opening match Italy had taken a half-time lead against Denmark through Andreas Christensen's own goal but the same player equalised on 49 minutes. Jacob Andersen put Frank's charges ahead before a penalty from the sole eligible player that took part in Denmark's 2011 finals campaign, Pierre Højbjerg, and a Viktor Nielsen strike made it 4-1 to the hosts. Francesco Lovric had an early penalty saved by Kyriakos Panayiotou but Austria still went on to beat Cyprus 2-0 thanks to strikes from Valentin Grubeck and substitute Alexander Taschner.

Goals in the first 18 minutes from Anders Thomsen and Marcus Mathiasen put Denmark in control against Austria two days later, and although Markus Blutsch pulled one back it ended 2-1. Italy got back on track when Thomas Pedrabissi put them ahead against Cyprus before Leonardo Capezzi's penalty and a Jonathan Ferrante finish earned them a 3-0 win.

That ensured Denmark could not be caught in first place and also confirmed Cyprus's elimination, and when the pair met today Thomas Frank's side moved on to nine points with a 5-1 win. In the decisive battle for a runners-up berth Italy raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of two early goals in as many minutes by Pedrabissi, but Austria hit back though substitutes Florian Grillitsch and Taschner and thought they had done enough to qualify until Cerri pounced at the death.

Last updated: 18/10/11 21.18CET

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