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Italy wear Northern Ireland down

Northern Ireland 0-2 Italy
Daniele Rugani and substitute Marcello Trotta struck in Group 9 as the visitors made second-half pressure pay in Lurgan.

Italy goalscore Daniele Rugani
Italy goalscore Daniele Rugani ©Mikhail Shapaev

Italy broke down a resolute Northern Ireland to secure a UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 9 win with a dominant second-half performance at Mourneview Park.

There had not been much between the sides up until the break with the scoreline reading 0-0 at half-time. However, the Italians stepped up a gear in the second period and were well worth their victory in Lurgan.

Defender Daniele Rugani met Federico Viviani's free-kick to open the scoring with a flashing header on 59 minutes. Then substitute Marcello Trotta put the result beyond doubt a minute from time when he latched onto Jacopo Gezi's through ball to rifle into the roof of the net.

Northern Ireland's best opportunity fell to defender Jamie Sendles-White who headed Luke Conlan's set piece over the bar on 62 minutes.