Italy started slow, picked up the pace, but eventually lost their lead to a German penalty in the last few minutes, ending 2-2.

Coach Gigi Di Biagio had already warned that 'friendly' is a relative term for a game between these two nations, and indeed both teams seemed hungry for victory as the ball was kicked off.

Germany started out with intensity, earning two corners within four minutes, and for a while it seemed like the Italians were being crushed.

Italy started slow, picked up the pace, but eventually lost their lead to a German penalty in the last few minutes, ending 2-2.

Coach Gigi Di Biagio had already warned that 'friendly' is a relative term for a game between these two nations, and indeed both teams seemed hungry for victory as the ball was kicked off.

Germany started out with intensity, earning two corners within four minutes, and for a while it seemed like the Italians were being crushed.

The hosts’ pressure alternated with swift descents down both flanks with fast passing combinations down the middle, while Italy seemed happy to close ranks behind the midfield line, keeping the ball away from the box.

Moritz Leitner took advantage of the first real chance when an opening down the middle allowed him a long shot, but the ball had no power behind it and died to the left of the goal.

It was only in the 24th minute that the Azzurrini found some heart, storming with Marcello Trotta and Andrea Belotti into the box and rattling the German back-line with a number of shots that bounced off the defenders. The game finally picked up some balance as both teams stretched themselves out, inviting counters.

Shortly after the half-hour Willi Orban chipped the ball in for Vollen, whose header went wide, but two minutes later Trotta returned the favour and opened the scoring with a header of his own, giving Italy the lead.

Other than Francesco Bardi being forced into a save from a German free kick, the first half ended uneventfully.

The white shirts then came out swinging in the second half, and their pressure was rewarded as Leonardo Bittencourt notched a goal.

Italy tried to react at as Cristian Battocchio wasted a screamer of an opportunity, shooting wide after the German defence was caught off guard and he found himself alone down the middle.

Germany responded with Philipp Hoffman, who rampaged down the right, saw his first chipped shot ricochet off Bardi, and almost bounced it back in before being clouded by the defenders.

The game reached the height of excitement as Orban's header skimmed off the post, and only one minute later Verdi – who had stepped in for Belotti – sprinted down the middle, made some space for himself and fired from outside of the box, finding the bottom left corner of the net. It was a beautiful goal that knocked the wind out of the Germans.

It wasn't over. With five minutes to go an obstruction in the box was deemed irregular by the referee and a penalty was awarded amid the protests of the Azzurrini. Leitner converted it, bringing the score to a 2-2 that would not change.

Germany 2-2 Italy

Trotta 38 (I), Bittencourt 56 (G), Verdi 78 (I), Leitner pen 85 (G)

Italy U21: Bardi; Zappacosta (Sabelli 63), Bianchetti, Rugani (Romagnoli 47), Biraghi; Berardi (Molina), Sturaro, Crisetig (Cataldi 63), Battocchio; Trotta (Longo 73), Belotti (Verdi 62)

Germany U21: Leno; Schulz, Ginter, Orban, Kimmich (Zimmer 52); Geis, Bittencourt (Klaus 69), Malli, Volland (Hoffman 46), Leitner, Younes (Gnabry 46).

Ref: Pawel Raczkowski

Byandrew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tickets Kit Collector