The Under-18 National Team recently beat Libya 6-0 in Tarragona to reach the semi-finals of the Mediterranean Games, where they’ll now take on Greece. Having drawn 2-2 in their opening game against Morocco, Daniele Franceschini’s side successfully secured top spot in Group B on goal difference. Their game tomorrow will take place in Reus at 17:00 CEST, with Spain facing Morocco in the other semi-final.
As for yesterday’s first-ever encounter between the two, the Azzurrini were inspired by captain Davide Merola, with the Inter starlet bagging himself a hat-trick.
Daniele Franceschini was delighted with how his team performed: “They did really well to make the game seem easy, although it was the team’s attitude for the entire game that impressed me most.” The tactician warned his side of their upcoming opponents: “The Greeks have beaten France and Turkey, who are two tough teams. We still have one more day to prepare, but I’ll advise the lads just to play their usual game and remain focused on reaching the final and possibly picking up our first medal since 1997.”
Italy are the most successful team in the history of the Mediterranean Games, winning gold on four occasions: 1959, 1963, 1967 and 1997.
Libya 0-6 Italy
Goalscorers: Portanova 4’, Merola 26’, Rauti (R) 42’, Gavioli 43’, Merola 87’ and 88’ (R)
Libya: Allafi (C), Bin Amir, Mohamed (Aljoourni 30’), Muftah, Shaldun, Karah Aljibali, Elmabrouk, Alzabbad, Alsuwayah (Alashhab 51’), Alantein, Abousheenah (Miftah 83’). Substitutes. Almiqasbi, Mohammed, Elhammali, Mohammed.
Italy: Ghidotti, Ferrarini (Piccardo 46’), Corrado, Pompetti, Corbo, Gavioli (Nicolussi 46’), Merola (C), Vignato (Mulattieri 74’), Rauti, Bellodi, Portanova. Coach. Franceschini. Substitutes. Gemello, Matteucci, Biancu, Babbi.
Red cards: Alzabbad at 76’. Bookings: Ferrarini, Bellodi, Corbo and Piccardo
Group A: Spain, Algeria, Macedonia;
Group B: Morocco, ITALY, Libya;
Group C: Turkey, France, Greece, Bosnia Herzegovina;
Results and standings from Group B
22nd June: ITALY-Morocco 2-2
24th June: Morocco-Libya 2-1
26th June: ITALY-Libya 6-0
Standings (goal difference): ITALY (8-2) and Morocco (4-3) 4 points, Libya (1-8) 0
Semi-finals (28th June)
ITALY-Greece (17:00 CEST – Reus)
Spain-Morocco (20:00 – La Pobla de Mafumet)