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Greece goal leaves Italy on edge

Published: Friday 5 September 2008, 21.45CET
Italy 1-1 Greece
Italy remain in control of their own destiny but face a nervous 90 minutes in Croatia after they were held in their final home qualifier in Group 1.
by Roberta Radaelli
Greece goal leaves Italy on edge
Mario Balotelli scored on his Italy Under-21 debut ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 5 September 2008, 21.45CET

Greece goal leaves Italy on edge

Italy 1-1 Greece
Italy remain in control of their own destiny but face a nervous 90 minutes in Croatia after they were held in their final home qualifier in Group 1.

Italy remain in control of their own destiny but know they face a nervous 90 minutes in Croatia on Tuesday after being held by Greece in their final home qualifier in Castel Di Sangro.

Fine debut
A debut goal from FC Internazionale Milano striker Mario Balotelli after 34 minutes sent the Azzurrini into the interval a goal to the good, only for Panathinaikos FC midfielder Lazaros Hristodoulopoulos to equalise nine minutes after half-time and prevent Italy registering the three points needed to seal Group 1 with a game to play. Instead, they travel to Varazdin – where Croatia thrashed Albania 4-0 this evening – requiring a point to reach the play-offs.

Clinical volley
Much had been said about Balotelli's talent and the 18-year-old almost added to the hype with four minutes gone as he collected Domenico Criscito's cross from the left and shot just outside the near post. Greece goalkeeper Alexandros Kasmeridis denied both Marco Motta and Daniele Dessena with 24 minutes on the clock but was powerless to keep out Balotelli's clinical volley ten minutes later.

Powerful drive
The rest of the half was all about Italy, yet they failed to increase their tally and were on the back foot in the 54th minute when Hristodoulopoulos beat home goalkeeper Andrea Consigli with a powerful drive from distance. Balotelli went tantalisingly close to scoring with an overhead kick with 12 minutes left, although defence rather than attack may be the focus as the pool is played to a finish next week.

Last updated: 27/03/13 6.29CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15084/match=300174/postmatch/report/index.html#greece+goal+leaves+italy+edge

Lineups

Italy

Italy

Greece

Greece

1
ConsigliAndrea Consigli (GK)
1
KasmeridisAlexandros Kasmeridis (GK)
2
MottaMarco Motta (C)
2
ManiatisGiannis Maniatis
Yellow Card5
3
CriscitoDomenico Criscito
3
SiontisStefanos Siontis
Yellow Card57
4
CigariniLuca Cigarini
Substitution68
4
TripotserisTheodoros Tripotseris
Yellow Card31
5
AndreolliMarco Andreolli
Yellow Card87
5
IoannidisGiorgos Ioannidis
6
BocchettiSalvatore Bocchetti
6
BalafasSotiris Balafas (C)
Yellow Card67
7
DessenaDaniele Dessena
7
MarinosStergos Marinos
8
MarchisioClaudio Marchisio
Substitution90+2
8
RikkaAntonis Rikka
9
Osvaldo Pablo Osvaldo
Yellow Card74
Substitution75
9
PetropoulosAntonis Petropoulos
Substitution63
10
GiovincoSebastian Giovinco
10
ChristodoulopoulosLazaros Christodoulopoulos
Goal54
Substitution81
11
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Goal34
11
DimoutsosElini Dimoutsos
Substitution74

Substitutes

12
SiriguSalvatore Sirigu (GK)
12
VellidisMarkos Vellidis (GK)
14
De CegliePaolo De Ceglie
Substitution90+2
14
PavlisMichalis Pavlis
Substitution81
15
MorosiniPiermario Morosini
Substitution68
15
GentzoglouSavvas Gentzoglou
16
CandrevaAntonio Candreva
16
G. PapadopoulosGiannis Papadopoulos
Substitution74
17
LanzafameDavide Lanzafame
Substitution75
17
MitroglouKostas Mitroglou
Substitution63
18
PaolucciMichele Paolucci
18
GiantsisDimitrios Giantsis
13
RanocchiaAndrea Ranocchia
13
OikonomouVangelis Oikonomou

Coach

Pierluigi Casiraghi (ITA) Nikos Nioplias (GRE)

Referee

Manuel De Sousa (POR)

Assistant referees

Serafim Baia Nogueira (POR), Sérgio Serrão (POR)

Fourth official

Cosme Machado (POR)

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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