Italy’s Under-21 side have won the Toulon Tournament for the first time after a deserved 1-0 win over Chile.
Having won three from three in the Group stage and squeezed past Japan in the semi-finals on penalties, Pierluigi Casiraghi’s men were confident of lifting the silverware.
And a sliding strike from Fiorentina striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo midway through the second period proved enough to ensure that the Azzurrini’s preparation for the Olympic Games stayed on the right track.
Inspired by Juventus starlet Sebastian Giovinco, who was named Player of the tournament, the Italians dominated from start to finish and managed to play some superb football in spite of a sodden playing surface.
Osvaldo looked dangerous on several occasions in the first half and came close within the first 10 minutes.
And the marksman of Argentine descent hit the tournament winner when impressive captain Antonio Nocerino fed Daniele Dessena whose ball sat up perfectly for him to skid in and poke home past Cristopher Toselli.
Minutes later, Atalanta’s Tiberio Guarente nearly put the game beyond doubt when he struck the post.
Davide Bassi had very little to do in the Azzurrini goal, but his displays throughout the tournament helped him win the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament award.
Chile mounted a spirited late charge and rattled the post through Gonzalo Jara in stoppage time but failed to beat Davide Bassi, who won the Best Goalkeeper award, in the Azzurrini goal as Casiraghi's men prevailed and reigned supreme in Toulon.
Italy: Bassi, Coda, Bocchetti, De Silvestri, Dellafiore, Cigarini (Dessena 61), Nocerino, Galloppa (Guarente 57), Osvaldo, Giovinco (Abate 69), Pelle.
Sebastian Giovinco (Italy)
"We are very happy. It was a difficult match and Chile did well. We had to pull together, and this bodes well for the Olympics. We wanted to do well in this tournament to test the strength of team and today we displayed that we can do well in Beijing."
29-05-08: Ivory Coast 2-2 Japan (4-3 on pens)
29-05-08: Chile 0-1 Italy
Source: C4 Football Italia