Friday, 16 November 2007

[U21 Qual] Azzurrini continue march towards finals

Italy maintained their stranglehold on their 2009 UEFA European Under-21 qualifying group with a polished 5-0 win against Azerbaijan in Fermo.

Pierluigi Casiraghi's side had to wait 42 minutes to make the breakthough but after that there was no looking back. Robert Acquafresca's cross from the left was deflected in to his own net by Rahid Amirguliyev before the striker, who also hit the crossbar, scored the second just prior to the interval as he made no mistake from close range after a defence-splitting pass from Sebastian Giovinco.

Striker Alessio Cerci marked his Azzurrini debut by scoring the third goal 13 minutes from time after another brilliant pass by Giovinco and second-half substitute Andrea Russotto made it four with five minutes remaining after Salahat Aghayev had parried a shot by Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.

In added time midfielder Daniele Dessena put the finishing touch to the win with a right-foot volley from a cross by Paolo De Ceglie.

Italy, who now have 16 points from six games in Group 1, travel to the Faroe Islands on Tuesday for their next qualifier.

Group 1 Results:
Friday 16 November
Italy 5-0 Azerbaijan
Saturday 17 November
Faroe Islands 0-5 Albania
Greece 3-4 Croatia

Group 1 Standings:
[1] ITA - PLD: 06 - PTS: 16
[2] CRO - PLD: 07 - PTS: 15
[3] GRE - PLD: 06 - PTS: 10
[4] ALB - PLD: 06 - PTS: 10
[5] FAR - PLD: 07 - PTS: 03
[6] AZE - PLD: 06 - PTS: 01

Group 1 Fixtures:
Wednesday 21 November
Azerbaijan v Croatia
Faroe Islands v Italy
Greece v Albania

Source: UEFA

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