Italy’s 100 per cent record was ruined deep into stoppages, as they again wasted the chances to double their lead, held by a last-gasp Sweden equaliser in Monza.

This was a decisive match for the top of the group, as Sweden had 10 points from four games, while the Azzurrini won all three of their fixtures so far. Sandro Tonali again pulled the midfield strings, with Nicolò Rovella and Destiny Udogie stepping in, as Samuele Ricci and Sebastiano Esposito were injured.

Emanuel Vignato’s splendid volley was denied by the goalkeeper’s legs, but once again the Azzurrini dominated possession without making the most of their chances.

Lorenzo Lucca horribly shinned the finish after good work from Lorenzo Colombo, firing high and wide from seven yards.

The Serie B sensation with Pisa made up for it soon after, because he was at full stretch to meet Rovella’s curling cross-shot at the back post. There might’ve been a few suspicions of offside, but there is no VAR at this level.

Rami Hajal and Anthony Elanga fired off target, while Patrik Walemark had two efforts deflected wide, as Sweden began to pour forward in search of an equaliser.

Just as they were getting pinned back, Italy threatened to double their lead when Colombo’s pass sent Rovella clear on goal, but he hesitated and Samuel Brolin made a decisive save with his legs.

On the resulting corner, Colombo’s acrobatic back-heel flick flashed across the face of goal to skim the far post.

Italy had two more big chances in stoppages, first the referee not giving a free kick when Matteo Cancellieri was clearly brought down, then Brolin again making another decisive block on Roberto Piccoli one-on-one.

Moments later, Sweden got the equaliser, as Emil Holm sprung the offside trap and flicked a ball over everyone, met by substitute Tim Prica at the back post from point-blank range.

Italy 1-1 Sweden

Lucca 41 (I), Prica 92 (S)

Italy U21: Turati; Bellanova (Ferrarrini 90), Lovato, Okoli, Udogie; Tonali, Sa. Esposito, Rovella; Colombo (Cancellieri 81), Lucca (Piccoli 81), Vignato

Sweden U21: Brolin; Holm, Tolinsson, Vagic, Kahl; Nygren (Walemark 57), Gigovic (Gustavsson 72), Hussein, Elanga; Sarr (Prica 72), Hajal (Carlen 84)

Ref: Carvalho Nobre (POR)

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