The Under-17 National Team drew 2-2 in their final match of the Four Nations Tournament against hosts Germany to go home as winners. In a match full of twists and turns, the Azzurrini were able to equalise in the last minute of the game and thus obtain the point needed to stop Germany from overtaking them at the top of the standings.
After going into the break 1-0 down following a 20th minute strike from centre forward Lars Kehl, Italy suffered another blow as Jan Thielmann doubled the home team’s lead after 65 minutes. But this group has tenacity, and Italy found a response six minutes later as Brugge Ksv player Nicolò Cudrig scored to reduce the arrears. And in the last minute of injury time Juventus striker Mirco Lipari found the back of the net to complete the Azzurrini’s comeback and secure first place in the Four Nations Tournament standings.
“Aside from the victory – said Nunziata after the match – I’m happy about what the lads have experienced this tournament: the first 20 minutes were terrible from our point of view, but they never gave up despite being two goals behind and managed to mount a comeback.”
The coach praised his players, who in just over a month (from 27 October to 2 November in Croatia) will be involved in the first qualifying round for the European Championship: “My job is made easier by having such an eager group. Of course, we’re still at the beginning stage and need to improve. I’ve had the opportunity to watch all of them out on the pitch and get a good overview. We’ll work to be ready for the qualification tournament.”
Four Nations Tournament: results and final standings
First matchday (7 September)
ITALY 5-2 Israel
Netherlands 2-2 Germany
Second matchday (9 September)
ITALY 2-1 Netherlands
Germany 2-1 Israel
Third matchday (11 September)
Germany 2-2 ITALY
Netherlands 4-2 Israel
Standings: ITALY 7 points, Germany 5, The Netherlands 4, Israel 0