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Late Bertolacci goal denies Norway top spot

Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 20.09CET
Norway 1-1 Italy
Andrea Bertolacci's late goal denied Tor Ole Skullerud's side top spot in Group A but a draw was enough to seal a second semi-final place.
by Josh Hershman
from Bloomfield Stadium

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Match statistics

NorwayItaly

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target1
 
6
Attempts off target2
 
7
Corners9
 
6
Fouls committed15
 
14
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 20.09CET

Late Bertolacci goal denies Norway top spot

Norway 1-1 Italy
Andrea Bertolacci's late goal denied Tor Ole Skullerud's side top spot in Group A but a draw was enough to seal a second semi-final place.

Norway were seemingly destined for the semi-finals as UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group A winners until a last-gasp Andrea Bertolacci strike denied them top spot.

Italy had the best chances of the first half in Tel Aviv with Nicola Sansone and Mattia Destro proving a constant threat but Arild Østbø repelled everything that came his way. The second period followed a similar pattern until Norway's Stefan Strandberg converted from the spot in the 90th minute and fellow substitute Bertolacci equalised deep into stoppage time. The point ensures Norway qualify for the last four for only the second time while Italy – who were already through – progress as group winners.

Both unbeaten, the two sides rang the changes but Norway's starting XI still boasted 55 senior caps between them. Markus Henriksen, Valon Berisha, Håvard Nordtveit and Joshua King came in, with the last-mentioned making a particularly lively start. The first meaningful opportunity, though, went Italy's way as Sansone cut in from the left and fired straight at Østbø.

Sansone continued to cause Martin Linnes problems down the Italian left and midway through the opening half the Parma FC midfielder came close to the breakthrough only for his right-footed curler to drift agonisingly past the right post. Devis Mangia's team began to assert their authority and were unfortunate not to take the lead when Fausto Rossi's deflected shot flew wide after Thomas Rogne failed to comprehensively clear Destro's cross-shot.

Østbø was certainly the busier of the goalkeepers and five minutes before the interval Destro let Sansone's pass run across his body on the edge of the area before creating space for a shot which was well saved by the Norway No1 low to his right.

The five-times trophy winners started the second half as they finished the first but it took until the 58th minute for them to fashion their next chance. Destro timed his run to perfection to latch onto Rossi's through ball but after racing clear and rounding Østbø, the AS Roma forward could only find the side netting from a tight angle.

For all Norway's neat and intricate passing, the nearest they came was via a set piece. Vegar Hedenstad, returning from suspension after his red card against Israel, unleashed a dipping, swerving free-kick from 30 metres that rattled the crossbar with Franceso Bardi beaten. With the match apparently heading for a goalless draw, Strandberg was felled by Luca Caldirola in the box and the substitute picked himself up to give Norway the late advantage. Undeterred, Italy kept piling forward and Bertolacci's 94th-minute strike guaranteed their place in the last four as group winners.

Last updated: 15/06/13 1.01CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2013/matches/round=2000188/match=2010954/postmatch/report/index.html#bertolacci+denies+norway

Lineups

Norway

Norway

Italy

Italy

1
ØstbøArild Østbø (GK)
1
BardiFrancesco Bardi (GK)
2
LinnesMartin Linnes
2
DonatiGiulio Donati
Yellow Card90+1
3
RogneThomas Rogne (C)
Yellow Card45+1
Substitution54
5
CapuanoMarco Capuano
5
HedenstadVegar Hedenstad
6
CaldirolaLuca Caldirola (C)
Yellow Card87
9
BerishaValon Berisha
14
DestroMattia Destro
Substitution72
11
NielsenHåvard Nielsen
Substitution60
15
SansoneNicola Sansone
13
HenriksenMarkus Henriksen
17
PaloschiAlberto Paloschi
15
NordtveitHåvard Nordtveit
18
SaponaraRiccardo Saponara
Substitution46
16
de LanlayYann-Erik de Lanlay
19
ReginiVasco Regini
17
KonradssenAnders Konradssen
21
RossiFausto Rossi
Substitution61
21
KingJoshua King
Substitution74
23
CrimiMarco Crimi

Substitutes

12
HaskjoldOrjan Haskjold (GK)
22
LealiNicola Leali (GK)
23
KongshavnGudmund Kongshavn (GK)
12
ColombiSimone Colombi (GK)
4
StrandbergStefan Strandberg
Substitution54
Goal90
3
BiraghiCristiano Biraghi
6
ElabdellaouiOmar Elabdellaoui
4
VerrattiMarco Verratti
7
SinghHarmeet Singh
7
FlorenziAlessandro Florenzi
Substitution61
8
BergetJo Inge Berget
9
ImmobileCiro Immobile
10
PedersenMarcus Pedersen
11
GabbiadiniManolo Gabbiadini
Substitution72
14
Semb BergeFredrik Semb Berge
13
BianchettiMatteo Bianchetti
18
EikremMagnus Eikrem
16
BertolacciAndrea Bertolacci
Substitution46
Goal90+4
19
KastratiFlamur Kastrati
Substitution60
20
BoriniFabio Borini
20
JohansenStefan Johansen
22
IbrahimAbdissalam Ibrahim
Substitution74
Yellow Card79

Coach

Tor Ole Skullerud (NOR) Devis Mangia (ITA)

Referee

Ivan Bebek (CRO)

Assistant referees

Sandro Pozzi (SUI), Johann Gudmundsson (ISL)

Fourth official

Ivo Kolev (BUL)

Additional assistant referees

Ivan Kružliak (SVK), Ilias Spathas (GRE)

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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