Tuesday, 11 September 2007

[U21 Qual] Acquafresca keeps Azzurrini rolling

Robert Acquafresca celebrated his 20th birthday by scoring the only goal as Italy defeated Albania 1-0 in Durres to strengthen their grip at the top of Group 1 in qualifying for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championships.

Neither side created any serious opportunities in the first hour though Albania were arguably the better side, with Jahmir Hyka a constant threat to the Azzurrini defence.

After 70 minutes, however, Italy surprisingly took the lead when Cagliari striker Aquafresca latched on to Sebastian Giovinco's pass to beat the home side's offside trap before shooting in low at the far post.

The visitors had other chances on the counter but Giuseppe Rossi and Giovinco both missed the target from good positions while Albania were unable to find a way through despite some late pressure.

Italy, who also defeated the Faroe Islands on Friday, top the section on goal difference from Croatia with nine points from three games.

Group 1 Results:
Tuesday 11 September
Albania 0-1 Italy
Croatia 3-2 Azerbaijan
Wednesday 12 September
Faroe Islands 0-2 Greece

Group 1 Standings:
[1] ITA - PLD: 03 - PTS: 09
[2] GRE - PLD: 04 - PTS: 09
[3] CRO - PLD: 04 - PTS: 09
[4] ALB - PLD: 04 - PTS: 06
[5] FAR - PLD: 04 - PTS: 00
[6] AZE - PLD: 03 - PTS: 00

Group 1 Fixtures:
Friday 12 October
Italy v Croatia
Sunday 14 October
Faroe Islands v Azerbaijan

Source: UEFA

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