Italy, mission accomplished: 4-1 to Ireland and azzurrini to the European Championship

Great performance by Nicolato’s guys. Match closed in 46 ‘. Rovella, Cambiaghi, Pellegri and Quagliata scored, the goal from Coventry is of little use

by our correspondent Alex Frosio

A test of strength and personality. Four goals as never before in the qualification process. Italy reaches the European Championship in first class: seventh out of ten, the widest of the qualification path. And there is also a new striker to keep an eye on: the inexhaustible Cambiaghi. Nicolato fully confirms the formation that drew in Sweden, with Viti who had already replaced the injured Lovato in Helsingborg in the trio behind. That’s right, because then Italy had worked and from there the Azzurri team resumed.

Immediately mistress of the field, without speculating on the draw that would still give the qualification. After less than a minute Pellegri suffered the good ball, snatching it from Cashin: his right foot was deflected by the goalkeeper Maher. On the 4th, another occasion: Cambiaghi’s long escape to the left – the boy has no shortage of legs – and a left-handed closed out. With their 4-2-3-1, Ireland try to put pressure on Ricci with Smallbone, while our three defenders accept the one on one with the three forwards. However, it is difficult to stem the desire of Italy. Five corners in 18 minutes, McGuinness clings to Okoli in the area in the fifth: referee Bogar whistles the obvious penalty. And Nicolò Rovella, already scoring from the spot in Sweden, makes no mistake: he changes angle and scores the third goal in the last 4 games. It is 20 ‘, European already in his pocket, given that our Under 21 team has never collected more than one goal in 90’ before. Ricci at 23 ‘launches Pellegri: wide right. Ireland eases the pressure with a left from Bagan in the 31st minute, very high, Plizzari watches over a cross from Kerrigan from the right. At 35 ‘the doubling, and it is a masterpiece by Cambiaghi: he receives the ball from a strong advance from Pirola on Ferguson, turns and sends a violent right to kiss the post and from there into the net. Well deserved for the best boy of the June triptych.

The former Pordenone tries again at 45 ‘, this time with the left in turn: very little high. Cambiaghi protagonist also at the beginning of the second half: mockery McGuinness who would like to protect the ball, Maher does not help and Pellegri on the rebound supports the blue trio. Safe result, safe qualification. And with the heat it is understandable that Italy melts a bit, not before having kicked again on goal with the usual Cambiaghi, Maher reaches out and deflects. Ireland takes a bit of courage and earns a penalty: Smallbone touched (perhaps) by Viti. Coventry from the spot shortens. Nicolato puts Quagliata and Miretti for Parisi and Bove, then Esposito for Pellegri. Above all, he has to place a couple of yells because the concentration is not the same as the moments that matter. But other risks do not come, because Okoli becomes overwhelming, Pirola does not miss an aerial duel, Cambiaghi continues to run, Ricci is always where he is needed. Even there in front: at 40 ‘he finishes an all-vertical action for the insertion of Quagliata who fake and right-footed his first blue goal in the net. Poker, European. Here we go.

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