Primavera round-up: Empoli defeat in Inter in a dramatic encounter and face Atalanta in the final

Date: 28th June 2021 at 3:46pm
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Atalanta will play Empoli in the final of the 2020/21 Campionato Primavera 1 play-offs after defeating Sampdoria and Inter in their respective semi-final.

The Tuscans earned a dramatic 3-2 victory against I Nerazzurri in extra-time on Sunday evening after overcoming a 2-1 deficit in regulation time.

Gli Azzurri had taken the lead after 13 minutes when Mirco Lipari exchanged passes with attacking midfielder Tommaso Baldanzi and the striker beat Inter goalkeeper Filip Stankovic from close range.

Il Biscione equalised in the 34th minute when Gaetano Oristanio had a shot saved by Empoli goalkeeper Klemen Hvalic, but the ball fell into the path of Nerazzurri wing-back Franco Vezzoni, who provided a cross for Mattia Zanotti to head it into the net.

Vezzoni gave Inter the lead three minutes later when a long throw-in from the right-wing came into the box, and after multiple touches from the Nerazzurri players in the penalty area, he fired the ball into the net at the far post.

Empoli created an abundance of chances to equalise and they were rewarded for their persistence 10 minutes from time. The Tuscans earned a free-kick, and with a wall that was practically non-existent, Kristjan Asllani struck the ball directly into the net.

Baldanzi thought that he had given Gli Azzurri the lead but his shot hit the post. The pressure from the Empolesi overwhelmed Inter and Edoardo Sottini was sent off after receiving his second yellow card in the 104th minute.

Substitute Mattia Sangalli made it worse for I Nerazzurri in the 118th minute, earning two yellow cards which reduced his team to nine men. Despite the numerical disadvantage, Inter were close to facing a penalty shoot-out, but Empoli found a deserved winner in the final minute of extra-time.

A corner came from the right and a Nerazzurri defender headed the ball out to Azzurri substitute Kleis Bozhanaj at the far post. The Albanian youngster ran towards the goalline and sent a deflected low cross to Leonardo Manfredi, who tapped the ball in from point-blank range.

Atalanta booked their place in the final on the night before after defeating league table-toppers Sampdoria 2-1.

Although I Blucerchiati created the early chances, La Dea went in front after 37 minutes thanks to a spectacular long-range strike from Davide Ghislandi and they doubled their lead three minutes later after Giorgio Scalvini finished off a short corner routine.

Gerard Yepes pulled one back for Il Doria two minutes into stoppage time by heading a free-kick into the net but neither side could find another goal in the second half.

The final between Atalanta and Empoli will be played on Wednesday evening at 18:30 CET. La Dea have the opportunity to win their third consecutive title whereas Gli Azzurri will be looking to earn their first title since 1998/99.


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