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Balotelli plots Italy's progress

Published: Thursday 16 October 2008, 0.45CET
Israel 1-3 Italy (agg: 1-3)
Italy will set their sights on a record sixth title after Mario Balotelli struck twice to seal the Azzurrini's place in Sweden with an impressive away win.
by Ofer Ronen-Abels
Balotelli plots Italy's progress
Mario Balotelli scored twice for Italy ©Getty Images

Match statistics

IsraelItaly

Goals scored1
 
3
Attempts on target1
 
3
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards3
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Published: Thursday 16 October 2008, 0.45CET

Balotelli plots Italy's progress

Israel 1-3 Italy (agg: 1-3)
Italy will set their sights on a record sixth title after Mario Balotelli struck twice to seal the Azzurrini's place in Sweden with an impressive away win.

Italy will set their sights on a record sixth title after advancing to the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship on the back of a 3-1 victory against Israel in Tel-Aviv.

Balotelli double
Mario Balotelli struck twice in the first half with goals in the fourth and 25th minutes to ease any nerves Pierluigi Casiraghi's side may have had after a goalless draw in Ancona on Saturday. Although Toto Tamuz pulled one back for the home side nine minutes into the second half, Ignazio Abate restored the Azzurrini's two-goal advantage with 15 minutes to play to confirm their place in Sweden next summer.

Italy changes
Casiraghi made seven changes as injuries and suspensions took their toll and he hit upon a winning formula as Italy seized command from the outset. FC Internazionale Milano striker Balotelli, one of the new faces, silenced the home crowd at the Bloomfield Stadium when he fired a 25-metre free-kick in just the fourth minute into the roof of the net, leaving Ohad Levita no chance in the Israel goal.

Uphill struggle
Having failed to heed that warning Israel's defence allowed Balotelli too much time and space on the edge of the area on 25 minutes and he made the most of the opportunity to double his side's advantage with another powerful strike. What had begun as an uphill struggle against the five-time champions became a vertical climb for Motti Iwanir's side who now needed to score times three to advance.

Tamuz scores
Iwanir introduced Tal Ben Chaim for Lior Rafaelov at the restart, but again it was Italy who threatened most, Davide Lanzafame's header beating Levita only to bounce back off the post. Israel were given a glimmer of hope eight minutes after the break when another substitute, Yoval Avidor, was impeded in the penalty area allowing Tamuz to try to reduce the arrears from the penalty spot. The Beitar Jerusalem FC striker's spot-kick was saved by Andrea Consigli, but he was first to the rebound and scored at the second attempt. Lifted by the goal the home support tried to rally their team, but as Israel pushed forward Italy caught them on the break, Abate running half the length of the pitch to seal the tie with a fine solo effort.

Last updated: 27/03/13 6.22CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15085/match=304070/postmatch/report/index.html#balotelli+plots+italys+progress

Lineups

Israel

Israel

Italy

Italy

1
LevitaOhad Levita (GK)
1
ConsigliAndrea Consigli (GK)
2
KendeOmri Kende
2
MottaMarco Motta (C)
4
RoashOshri Roash
3
De CegliePaolo De Ceglie
3
ChekolTayacho Chekol
5
MarzorattiLino Marzoratti
5
JanLior Jan (C)
6
CriscitoDomenico Criscito
10
RefaelovLior Refaelov
Substitution46
4
CigariniLuca Cigarini
Yellow Card77
8
A. CohenAlmog Cohen
Yellow Card57
7
CandrevaAntonio Candreva
Substitution60
6
YeiniSheran Yeini
Substitution58
8
MorosiniPiermario Morosini
7
AssulinGai Assulin
11
AbateIgnazio Abate
Yellow Card73
Goal75
9
TamuzToto Tamuz
Goal54
9
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Goal4
Yellow Card13
Goal25
Substitution66
14
AbuhaziraShimon Abuhazira
Substitution46
10
LanzafameDavide Lanzafame
Substitution89

Substitutes

18
NitzanItamar Nitzan (GK)
12
SiriguSalvatore Sirigu (GK)
11
AvidorYoval Avidor
Substitution46
Yellow Card77
13
BocchettiSalvatore Bocchetti
12
Ben Haim IITal Ben Haim II
Substitution46
Yellow Card82
14
PisanoFrancesco Pisano
Substitution89
15
NatchoBebras Natcho
Substitution58
15
BolzoniFrancesco Bolzoni
Substitution60
16
KozokinShemoel Kozokin
16
Di GennaroDavide Di Gennaro
17
MaymonShai Maymon
17
Osvaldo Pablo Osvaldo
Substitution66
20
PeretzOmer Peretz
18
AcquafrescaRobert Acquafresca

Coach

Motti Iwanir (ISR) Pierluigi Casiraghi (ITA)

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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