….Nigeria displaced to 2nd position in Group D.
Mighty Samba boys of Brazil were on Sunday night at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Argentina humbled by the Gli Azzurrini of Italy 3-2 in a U20 Group D encounter where Nigeria also belongs to.
The Brazilians brought their tiki-taka football which we call one touch pass. Casadei Cesara finished Brazil with a brace called two goals in a match after giving an assist to Matteo Prati who scored the first goal in the 11th minute.
Cesara, who plays for Reading FC of England, got a coded pass from Simone Pafundi to nod home the second goal for Italy in 27th minute. He came smoking again when an undisputed foul in the penalty box gave Italy an opportunity to increase their goal tally and in the 35th minute kicked it gingerly into the right side of the net. Mighty Brazil was three goals down from then.
The bench made impact for Brazil as Marcos Leonardo who plays for Santos FC got substitute player, Marquinhos telegraphic pass which he converted to a goal in the 72nd minute. Three minutes to end of regular play (87th minute) Leonardo again got a ball lift from substitute Savio which he powerfully headed into the net. Score Board read Italy 3 Brazil 2 and the Italians stole some notes from the special one, Jose Maurinho now Coach of Roma of Italy known in football circles as Professor of parking the Bus, a terminology meaning block the defensive area and with some modest time wasting tactics Italy won the match.
With this, Italy heads Group D table with 3 points and 3-2 goals difference; Nigeria is second also with 3 points but 2-1 goals difference. Brazil is 3rd with zero points but 2-3 goals difference while Dominic Republic is at the bottom with zero points but 1-2 goals difference. Nigeria had earlier beaten Dominic Republic 2-1.
In Group C. played as Brazil dragged it with Italy, Japan piped Senegal by a lone goal. Columbia leads Group C table with 3 points and 2-1 goals difference; Japan is second with 3 points and 1-0 goals difference; Israel is 3rd with zero points and 1-2 goals difference and Senegal also with zero goals difference and -0-1 goals difference.
The Gli Azzurrini of Italy coached by Camine Nunziata is in the competition for the 8th time and won Bronze only once as best result at South Korea in 2017 after playing goalless at Extra time won on 4-1 penalty kicks but had lost the semifinal to England 1-3. Italy was 4th placed at Poland 2019 when she lost to Ecuador 0-1 AET on 14th June. Other placing were quarterfinals in 1987 in Chile; at Netherlands in 2005 and in Egypt in 2009.
Brazil is reckoned to be the second most successful team at U20 in the world having won the title 5 times in 1983 at Mexico when she defeated Argentina by a lone goal to win 1st title; in 1985 at Soviet Union when she beat Spain 1-0 after beating Nigeria 2-0 in the semi; 1993 in Australia after beating Ghana 2-1; 2003 at UAE when Brazil spank rivals Spain again 1-0 and 2011 in Columbia when Portugal was humbled 3-2.
Brazil was Runners-up 4 times also in 1991 at Portugal where she lost to Hosts Portugal 4-2 on penalties after goalless full time; in 1995 in Qatar where she lost 0-2 to Argentina and 2005 in Netherlands where she beat Morocco 2-1 in Losers’ final after losing to Argentina 1-2 in the semis. She won Bronze twice in 1979 and Saudi 1989 beating USA 3-2.
Tomorrow Monday, France will play South Korea in group F and England will have Tunisia in Group E both matches at 1900 hours. At 2200 hours, Gambia will test skills with Honduras in Group F and Uruguay will slot it out with Iraq in group E at the same time.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.