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Italy close gap with victory over Northern Ireland

Published: Thursday 14 November 2013, 23.47CET
Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland
Federico Viviani opened the scoring before Antonio Rozzi and Andrea Belotti struck in the closing stages to give Luigi Di Biagio's side the win.
by Alessandro Massimo
from Giglio
Italy close gap with victory over Northern Ireland
Antonio Rozzi (left) hit Italy's second in their 3-0 win ©Mikhail Shapaev

Standings

Published: Thursday 14 November 2013, 23.47CET

Italy close gap with victory over Northern Ireland

Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland
Federico Viviani opened the scoring before Antonio Rozzi and Andrea Belotti struck in the closing stages to give Luigi Di Biagio's side the win.

Italy closed the gap to UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 9 leaders Belgium with a 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland.

Buoyed by their win at table-topping Belgium last time out, Italy forged ahead through Federico Viviani's 26th-minute free-kick but they had to wait until the final four minutes to put the result beyond doubt thanks to goals from Antonio Rozzi and Andrea Belotti. Italy move to within three points of Belgium with a game in hand while Northern Ireland are bottom of the section without a point.

The Azzurrini controlled the game early on and although Daniele Baselli and Kirk Millar traded long-range efforts it was a set-piece which broke the deadlock. Viviani struck a delightful free-kick which gave Conor Brennan no chance.

Belotti spurned Italy's best chance to double their lead before half-time and James Gray almost equalised for the visitors with a header. The hosts had to wait until the 86th minute to grab their second as substitute Rozzi collected Salvatore Molina's pass less than two minutes after coming off the bench and finished off a swift counterattack. Italy hit Northern Ireland on the break once more two minutes later, this time Belotti was on hand to complete the move with a simple finish.

Italy coach Luigi Di Biagio said: "We were aware that it wouldn’t be easy, but the lads read the game well. We played well in the first half and I am satisfied even though we still lack continuity. We started slowly in the second half but we increased our pace. I’m happy with [Andrea] Belotti’s goal and also for [Antonio] Rozzi because he came on with the right attitude."

Last updated: 05/06/15 6.16CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2015/matches/round=2000412/match=2011549/postmatch/report/index.html#italy+close

Lineups

Italy

Italy

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

1
BardiFrancesco Bardi (GK)
1
BrennanConor Brennan (GK)
2
ZappacostaDavide Zappacosta
2
DonnellyLiam Donnelly
Yellow Card9
3
BiraghiCristiano Biraghi
Yellow Card78
3
McKeownRory McKeown
4
BaselliDaniele Baselli
4
ThompsonAdam Thompson
5
BianchettiMatteo Bianchetti (C)
5
McCulloughLuke McCullough
6
AnteiLuca Antei
6
Sendles-WhiteJamie Sendles-White
7
FossatiMarco Ezio Fossati
Substitution64
7
С. WinchesterCarl Winchester
8
VivianiFederico Viviani
Goal26
8
MorganDavid Morgan
Substitution67
9
BelottiAndrea Belotti
Yellow Card70
Goal88
9
GrayJames Gray
Yellow Card76
Substitution79
10
BattocchioChristian Battocchio
Substitution85
10
MillarKirk Millar
11
PolitanoMatteo Politano
Substitution54
11
CarsonJosh Carson (C)

Substitutes

12
LealiNicola Leali (GK)
12
Ross GlendinningRoss Glendinning (GK)
13
SabelliStefano Sabelli
13
ConlanLuke Conlan
14
CrisetigLorenzo Crisetig
14
TempestGregory Tempest
Substitution67
Substitution72
15
RuganiDaniele Rugani
15
McCartanSeamus McCartan
16
MolinaSalvatore Molina
Substitution64
16
BrobbellRyan Brobbell
Substitution72
17
FedatoFrancesco Fedato
Substitution54
17
GormanJonny Gorman
18
RozziAntonio Rozzi
Substitution85
Goal86
18
LaveryCaolan Lavery
Substitution79

Coach

Luigi Di Biagio (ITA) Jim Magilton (NIR)

Referee

Mitja Žganec (SVN)

Assistant referees

Robert Vukan (SVN), Jure Praprotnik (SVN)

Fourth official

Darko Čeferin (SVN)

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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