Ireland U-21s 1-4 Italy U-21s: Azzurrini thrash Green Army
Italy Under-21s beat Ireland Under-21s 4-1 at the Waterford Regional Sports Centre on Thursday evening, in their U-21 Euro 2017 qualifier.
After a competitive opening 15 minutes it was The Green Army who took the lead, through an own-goal by Valerio Rosseti. Yet the Azzurri soon found top gear and equalised through Marco Benassi.
In the 35th minute Italy took the lead through Rosseti, who made up for his earlier mistake. In the 58th minute Alessio Romagnoli added a third for the Azzurrini.
Romagnoli’s 82nd minute shot was directed into the net by Darragh Lenihan as Italy started to embarrass the hosts.
Ireland made the stronger start to the match and they deservedly took the lead in the 16th minute.
Jack Byrne’s low free kick was hopelessly cleared by Rosseti as he swiped the ball into his own net.
However, Italy soon worked their way back into the game and almost equalised when Danilo Cataldi’s fine curled shot from 25 yards out, was brilliantly saved by Danny Rogers.
Eventually Italy’s pressure was too much for Ireland to handle. Gaetano Monachello’s beautiful floated pass found Benassi in the penalty area and the Torino midfielder produced a stunning volley to equalise for the visitors.
Monachello assisted the Azzurrini’s next goal. The Atalanta forward drove to the byline and chipped a cross onto Rosseti’s head, who powered his effort into the net.
After the interval, Romagnoli sealed the win. Rolando Mandragora took a quick free kick playing in Antonio Barreca, who fizzed a low cross into the AC Milan defender who tap past Rogers.
The Azzurri then added a fourth when following a whipped Mandragora free kick, Romagnoli’s shot took a massive deflection off Lenihan, diverting it into his own net.
The result leaves Italy at the top of their group after six games, whereas Ireland remain fourth in the group.