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Italian industry chokes Croatia

Published: Wednesday 2 June 2004, 0.57CET
Italy 1-0 Croatia An assured victory took Italy into a third consecutive semi-final as Group A winners.

Match statistics

ItalyCroatia

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target1
 
0
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards0
4
Red Cards1
 
0

Standings

Group A(Host country: Germany)

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
1Italy Italy32014316
2Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro32016516
3Belarus Belarus31114404
4Croatia Croatia301235-21

Legend:

P: Played   
W: Won   
D: Drawn   
L: Lost   
F: For   
A: Against   
+/-: Goal difference   
Last updated: 30/11/2017 14:54 CET
Published: Wednesday 2 June 2004, 0.57CET

Italian industry chokes Croatia

Italy 1-0 Croatia An assured victory took Italy into a third consecutive semi-final as Group A winners.

An assured victory took Italy into their third consecutive UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals, and Serbia and Montenegro's simultaneous win against Belarus assured the Azzurrini of first place in Group A on head-to-head record.

First-half winner
Croatia, needing three points to have any chance of progress, dominated the first 20 minutes, but could not make a breakthrough and Daniele De Rossi punished them with what proved the only goal of the game. Simone Del Nero was dismissed soon after the hour, but Italy were tight enough at the back to hold on with ten men.

Bonera returns
Captain Daniele Bonera returned from suspension for Italy and replaced Cristian Zaccardo in defence, but striker Alberto Gilardino was banned and Andrea Caraccioli filled in. Gianpiero Pinzi and Angelo Palombo took over from Giondomenico Mesto and Marco Donadel in midfield. Croatia had Darijo Srna suspended, and he and Danijel Pranjic were replaced in midfield by Marijan Buljat and Mario Carevic.

Early pressure
Carevic proved a useful selection, as he caused Italy trouble on the Croatian left from the start. Indeed, Croatia were rampant early on and confident Italian goalkeeper Marco Amelia had to make saves from Eduardo da Silva and Goran Ljubojevic in the opening seven minutes. Marko Babic was then sent away by Carevic, but Amelia dived to save his strong shot.

Italian goal
However, a free-kick on the Italian right conceded by Nikola Šafaric proved costly midway through the half. Del Nero's cross looped in and with three Italy forwards unmarked, De Rossi pounced at the far post to turn the ball into the net. It was against the run of play, but Italy found new belief and Croatia defender Dino Drpic had to block two useful Giuseppe Sculli efforts in quick succession.

Sculli shot
Sculli, who scored both Italy's goals against Serbia and Montenegro on Saturday, sent in another fine shot after the half-hour, but the fortunate Marko Šarlija saved with his chest. Late in the half Del Nero curled in two more free-kicks, but Palombo headed over and Šarlija denied Caraccioli.

Del Nero dismissed
Croatia begun the second half like they had the first, but Italy were proving resolute in defence. Niko Kranjcar and Da Silva both went close with long-range efforts, and Croatia were given further hope when their scourge from free-kicks Del Nero received his second yellow card on 63 minutes for a foul on Vedran Ješe.

Amelia saves
Italy sent on Marco Donadel to strengthen the midfield and withdrew Sculli but Ješe almost levelled as Amelia was only just able to turn his long-range shot around the post. Indeed, Croatia were keeping Italy pinned back, but the Azzurrini were well drilled and defending in two lines of four. Rarely could Croatia carve out a chance inside the area that would trouble Amelia, and despite some bright play in this tournament, join Belarus in departing before the knockout games.

Last updated: 28/03/13 3.50CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2004/matches/round=1608/match=74211/postmatch/report/index.html#italian+industry+chokes+croatia

Lineups

Italy

Italy

Croatia

Croatia

1
AmeliaMarco Amelia (GK)
12
ŠarlijaMarko Šarlija (GK)
Yellow Card83
3
MorettiEmiliano Moretti
2
M. BuljatMarijan Buljat
Substitution76
5
BoneraDaniele Bonera (C)
4
DrpićDino Drpić
Yellow Card81
6
De RossiDaniele De Rossi
Goal21
5
LučićMario Lučić
7
PinziGiampiero Pinzi
6
JešeVedran Ješe
8
PalomboAngelo Palombo
Substitution90+2
7
CarevićMario Carević
11
SculliGiuseppe Sculli
Substitution69
9
LjubojevićGoran Ljubojević
Substitution39
13
BarzagliAndrea Barzagli
10
BabićMarko Babić (C)
Yellow Card26
14
BovoCesare Bovo
16
ŠafarićNikola Šafarić
19
Del NeroSimone Del Nero
Red Card63
19
KranjčarNiko Kranjčar
Substitution82
20
CaraccioloAndrea Caracciolo
21
EduardoEduardo
Yellow Card67

Substitutes

12
AgliardiFederico Agliardi (GK)
1
VranjićTomislav Vranjić (GK)
22
ZottiCarlo Zotti (GK)
22
PelinTomislav Pelin (GK)
2
ZaccardoCristian Zaccardo
3
MikulićTomislav Mikulić
4
GamberiniAlessandro Gamberini
11
BodrušićDario Bodrušić
10
BrighiMatteo Brighi
Substitution90+2
13
GalIgor Gal
15
DonadelMarco Donadel
Substitution69
14
MilardovićJosip Milardović
16
PotenzaAlessandro Potenza
15
LinićSiniša Linić
Substitution82
17
MestoGiandomenico Mesto
17
AbramovićDomagoj Abramović
Substitution76
18
RosinaAlessandro Rosina
18
ZahoraDario Zahora
Substitution39
21
D'AgostinoGaetano D'Agostino
20
PranjićDanijel Pranjić

Coach

Claudio Gentile (ITA) Martin Novoselac (CRO)

Referee

Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Assistant referees

Nelly Viennot (FRA), Darren Drysdale (ENG)

Fourth official

Thorsten Kinhöfer (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution