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Italy battle back to hold England

Published: Friday 15 June 2007, 0.50CET
England 2-2 Italy
Italy came from two down to claim a point but it was Stuart Pearce's men who ended up second in Group B.
by John Atkin
from Gelredome

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Match statistics

EnglandItaly

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target9
 
7
Attempts off target6
 
14
Corners6
 
7
Fouls committed22
 
13
Yellow cards5
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Group B CZE / ENG / SRB / ITA(Host country: Netherlands)

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
Serbia Serbia22002026
England England20202202
Italy Italy201123-11
Czech Republic Czech Republic201101-11
Last updated: 19/04/2013 11:26 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
W: Won   
D: Drawn   
L: Lost   
F: For   
A: Against   
+/-: Goal difference   
Published: Friday 15 June 2007, 0.50CET

Italy battle back to hold England

England 2-2 Italy
Italy came from two down to claim a point but it was Stuart Pearce's men who ended up second in Group B.

Italy came from two goals down to keep alive their hopes of qualification with a 2-2 draw against England in UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group B as a Gelredome crowd of 17,000 were treated to a thrilling encounter.

Aquilani equaliser
England had looked to be cruising when David Nugent and Leroy Lita scored two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half but the Azzurrini responded perfectly. Ten minutes before the interval Giorgio Chiellini pulled one back and Italy threw caution to the wind as the second period wore on, eventually getting their reward midway through the half when Alberto Aquilani's raking drive crept in.

Elimination
Some of the Azzurrini squad had stood on the halfway line before the match, watching events unfold in Nijmegen as Serbia beat the Czech Republic to go through to the last four – a result that ensured one of these sides would be returning home after Sunday. Goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, in the team as No1 Gianluca Curci was injured, began determined it should not be his, pulling off a stunning reflex save to bat away Steven Taylor's close-range header on ten minutes. He was grateful for some profligate shooting from Lita midway through the opening half, however, as the England No16 squandered two gilt-edged chances.

Chances aplenty
First Mark Noble, one of three changes to the England lineup held by the Czechs, sent him clear with a sumptuous through-ball. With Viviano slipping, the Reading FC man needed only to side-foot in, yet he somehow contrived to slot wide. Having missed a penalty on Monday he must have questioned his luck, a feeling that merely grew when he fired against the crossbar moments later after the Italy keeper fumbled. It sparked a frenetic spell. James Milner delivered an inviting ball across goal while at the other end, it took a brilliant Taylor block to deny Giampaolo Pazzini.

Lita relief
The Italy striker scored a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw between these countries in March, and goals appeared on the cards again. Ashley Young sent the ball just wide on the counterattack before Nugent finally broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, diving low to head in Leighton Baines's arcing centre. Two minutes later Lita added a second, hammering in after being put through by Young. It was not the end of the drama. Aquilani grazed the crossbar with a fizzing long-range shot though the Italians' first goal owed much to good fortune as a deflected corner cannoned off Raffaele Palladino and Chiellini and into the net.

Italian initiative
The Italy left-back almost turned provider immediately, crossing for Pazzini whose header was clawed away by Carson, who was the busier keeper thereafter. He kept out another Pazzini threat before half-time and, after the restart, dived low to save Riccardo Montolivo's rasping drive. By then Pierluigi Casiraghi had made a double change, bringing on Marco Motta and Giuseppe Rossi, and the latter drilled an attempt just over on 55 minutes as Italy piled forward. Their equaliser eventually came on 69 minutes - Aquilani's low strike just beating Carson - and although Young twice went close to restoring England's lead, his efforts were saved and a late yellow card rules him out of Sunday's game against Serbia.

Last updated: 27/03/13 7.37CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2007/matches/round=2240/match=85182/postmatch/report/index.html#italy+battle+back+hold+england

Lineups

England

England

Italy

Italy

1
CarsonScott Carson (GK)
Yellow Card56
12
VivianoEmiliano Viviano (GK)
2
HoyteJustin Hoyte
2
AndreolliMarco Andreolli
3
BainesLeighton Baines
Yellow Card38
3
ChielliniGiorgio Chiellini (C)
Goal35
4
TaylorSteven Taylor
4
NocerinoAntonio Nocerino
7
Reo-CokerNigel Reo-Coker (C)
Yellow Card31
Substitution90+1
5
MantovaniAndrea Mantovani
Substitution59
10
NugentDavid Nugent
Goal24
Substitution69
7
MontolivoRiccardo Montolivo
11
YoungAshley Young
Yellow Card90+3
8
AquilaniAlberto Aquilani
Goal69
15
MilnerJames Milner
9
PazziniGiampaolo Pazzini
16
LitaLeroy Lita
Goal26
Substitution84
10
RosinaAlessandro Rosina
18
NobleMark Noble
Yellow Card89
17
RaggiAndrea Raggi
Yellow Card37
Substitution46
20
OnuohaNedum Onuoha
20
PalladinoRaffaele Palladino
Substitution46

Substitutes

13
HartJoe Hart (GK)
1
CurciGianluca Curci (GK)
22
AlnwickBen Alnwick (GK)
22
ConsigliAndrea Consigli (GK)
6
CahillGary Cahill
6
MottaMarco Motta
Substitution46
Yellow Card79
9
RichardsonKieran Richardson
Substitution90+1
11
RossiGiuseppe Rossi
Substitution46
12
RoutledgeWayne Routledge
13
CodaAndrea Coda
14
RoseniorLiam Rosenior
14
CriscitoDomenico Criscito
Substitution59
17
HuddlestoneTom Huddlestone
15
CaniniMichele Canini
19
DerbyshireMatt Derbyshire
16
DessenaDaniele Dessena
21
VaughanJames Vaughan
Substitution84
18
PadoinSimone Padoin
23
WhittinghamPeter Whittingham
Substitution69
19
PellèGraziano Pellè
21
LazzariAndrea Lazzari
23
CigariniLuca Cigarini

Coach

Stuart Pearce (ENG) Pierluigi Casiraghi (ITA)

Referee

Damir Skomina (SVN)

Assistant referees

Dimitrios Saraidaris (GRE), Tomaš Mokoš (SVK)

Fourth official

Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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