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Honours even for Italy and Serbia

Published: Tuesday 16 June 2009, 23.10CET
Italy 0-0 Serbia
Gojko Kačar's scissor-kick against the upright was the closest either team came to a goal in Helsingborg, meaning Sweden steal a march in Group A.
by Patrick Hart
from Olympia
Honours even for Italy and Serbia
Serbia defender Nemanja Pejčinović gets to grips with Italy's Mario Balotelli ©Getty Images

Match statistics

ItalySerbia

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target6
 
2
Attempts off target9
 
3
Corners7
 
3
Fouls committed9
 
13
Yellow cards3
 
1
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Group A(Host country: Sweden)

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
1Sweden Sweden11005143
2Italy Italy10100001
2Serbia Serbia10100001
4Belarus Belarus100115-40

Legend:

P: Played   
W: Won   
D: Drawn   
L: Lost   
F: For   
A: Against   
+/-: Goal difference   
Last updated: 30/11/2017 14:56 CET
Published: Tuesday 16 June 2009, 23.10CET

Honours even for Italy and Serbia

Italy 0-0 Serbia
Gojko Kačar's scissor-kick against the upright was the closest either team came to a goal in Helsingborg, meaning Sweden steal a march in Group A.

Five-time European Under-21 champions Italy had to settle for a point from their Group A curtain-raiser against Serbia in Helsingborg.

Close contest
Italy's first-half ascendancy gave way to a much-improved Serbian showing after the break as a crowd of 7,158 was treated to an always engaging tussle between two ambitious sides. Gojko Kačar's scissor-kick against the upright was the closest either team came to a breakthrough.

Three up front
The game started openly and the first corner, won by Italy captain Marco Motta, produced a free header wasted by Paolo De Ceglie. However, the first notable chance fell to Serbia as Nemanja Matić matched his persistence down the left with a penetrative cross that Zoran Tošić met inside the Italy area, sending his first-time strike narrowly off target. The Azzurrini's response was a curling effort from outside the box from the diminutive Sebastian Giovinco – forming a front three alongside Robert Acquafresca and Mario Balotelli – which Željko Brkić tipped over. More sighs of relief followed from the sizeable Serbian contingent inside Helsinborgs IF's Olympia as Acquafresca headed wide.

Ebb and flow
Serbia coach Slobodan Krcmarević chose a tactical template similar to Casiraghi insofar as three men shared the attacking duties. Tošić and Miralem Sulejmani – both wide players by trade – were supported by the versatile Kačar, a willing runner and raider. After half an hour Sulejmani scooped through a ball which Tošić was just beaten to by Italy keeper Andrea Consigli. His opposite number, Brkić, was similarly stretched by a firm Balotelli free-kick.

Revenge mission
The pre-match talk had been of an Italian revenge mission after Serbia's opening-day victory over the Azzurrini in the 2007 finals. Increasingly, as half-time approached, that goal looked within reach. Giovinco's cross-cum-shot had Brkić back-pedalling. Salvatore Bocchetti spurned a shooting opportunity; Balotelli did not, rifling the ball against Brkić's body. Yet the interval clean sheet appeared to vindicate Krcmarević's decision to give Jagoš Vuković his competitive debut at centre-back.

Clean through
With Tošić sparking, Serbia began the second half as if trying to restore balance to a shot count heavily favouring the Italians. Soon another notch for Casiraghi's men, though, as Acquafresca nodded a Giovinco set-piece into Brkić's arms. There seemed little between the teams, although a gap did emerge in the Serbia defence when Giovinco sprang the offside trap from Luca Cigarini's pass. Perhaps unaware of time and space, the Juventus talent lifted the ball tamely at Brkić.

Off the woodwork
At the other end the clever passing exchanges between Serbia's attacking triumvirate – often prompted by the elegant left-footed midfielder Matić – were gaining in fluidity and frequency. Towards the 75-minute mark, Nenad Tomović forced a desperate save from Consigli after Nemanja Pejčinović touched on a Tošić corner. Still more pressure ensued: Kačar's acrobatic strike rattling Italy's right post, before a Tošić free-kick whistled past the left. The resulting deadlock put both countries two points behind the day's winners, hosts Sweden, who beat Belarus 5-1.

Last updated: 27/09/14 5.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15086/match=304486/postmatch/report/index.html#honours+even+italy+serbia

Lineups

Italy

Italy

Serbia

Serbia

1
ConsigliAndrea Consigli (GK)
1
BrkićŽeljko Brkić (GK)
2
MottaMarco Motta (C)
Substitution78
3
FejsaLjubomir Fejsa
3
AndreolliMarco Andreolli
4
KačarGojko Kačar
4
CriscitoDomenico Criscito
5
PetkovićNikola Petković
Yellow Card51
8
MarchisioClaudio Marchisio
Yellow Card48
7
SmiljanićMilan Smiljanić (C)
9
AcquafrescaRobert Acquafresca
10
SulejmaniMiralem Sulejmani
10
GiovincoSebastian Giovinco
11
Z. TošićZoran Tošić
11
De CegliePaolo De Ceglie
14
TomovićNenad Tomović
15
BocchettiSalvatore Bocchetti
15
PejčinovićNemanja Pejčinović
20
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Yellow Card34
Substitution67
16
VukovićJagoš Vuković
21
CigariniLuca Cigarini
17
MatićNemanja Matić
Substitution85

Substitutes

12
SiriguSalvatore Sirigu (GK)
12
ŠaranovBojan Šaranov (GK)
22
SeculinAndrea Seculin (GK)
23
Ž. ŽivkovićŽivko Živković (GK)
5
MorosiniPiermario Morosini
2
JovanovićMarko Jovanović
6
MarzorattiLino Marzoratti
6
GulanNikola Gulan
7
AbateIgnazio Abate
Substitution67
8
VeljovićRade Veljović
13
RanocchiaAndrea Ranocchia
9
PerovićSlavko Perović
14
PisanoFrancesco Pisano
Substitution78
Yellow Card89
13
ObradovićIvan Obradović
16
CandrevaAntonio Candreva
18
MilinkovićMarko Milinković
17
PoliAndrea Poli
19
BrežančićRajko Brežančić
18
CerciAlessio Cerci
20
TadićDušan Tadić
19
PaloschiAlberto Paloschi
21
VilotićMilan Vilotić
23
DessenaDaniele Dessena
22
TomićNemanja Tomić
Substitution85

Coach

Pierluigi Casiraghi (ITA) Slobodan Krčmarević (SRB)

Referee

Pedro Proença (POR)

Assistant referees

Derek Rose (SCO), Nissan Davidy (ISR)

Fourth official

Peter Rasmussen (DEN)

Legend:

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