Saturday, 26 July 2008

[U19's Euro] Azzurrini falter in Final

Germany claimed the UEFA European Under-19 Championship trophy for the first time despite playing more than half the final against Italy with ten men.

Germany 3-1 ItalyGoals from Lars Bender, Richard Sukuta-Pasu and Timo Gebhart secured victory in an eventful decider in Jablonec.

Germany last tasted success in a youth championship in the U16 event in 1992, yet Horst Hrubesch's side took a significant step towards ending that long wait when Lars Bender struck midway through the opening period.

Their hopes suffered a seemingly severe setback as captain Florian Jungwirth was dismissed for a second bookable offence seven minutes before half-time having fouled Stefano Okaka Cuka twice in quick succession, but Germany weathered the resulting Italy pressure and doubled their advantage a minute past the hour when Sukuta-Pasu drilled in his third goal of the finals.

The Azzurrini lost Matteo Gentili to a second yellow card with 20 minutes remaining but still halved the deficit through Silvano Raggio only for Gebhart to restore Germany's two-goal cushion almost immediately and finally end their challenge.

Italy: Fiorillo, Darmian, Gentili, Tagliani, Bruscagin, Mazzarani, Raggio Garibaldi, Poli (Bonaventura 46), Okaka, Forestieri (Eusepi 81), Paloschi (Zamblera 59).

Francesco Rocca (Italy coach):
"I'm not happy of course, because we didn't play the way I wanted to – we just weren't really on our game tonight at any point. Germany were better than us, and that's a big regret – we played against ten players for a long time but we never really got into the match.

"Congratulations to Germany because they were better tonight but we could have played a lot better. We were better in all four of our games before tonight. We've had a good tournament, it's not ended how we wanted it to but during the tournament we've improved all the time. Of course, when you get to a final you want to win it and we haven't managed to do that. Maybe there was too much pressure on the players tonight and they weren't able to express themselves as they would have liked. This has been a high-quality tournament and that gives us hope for the future – it's been a good experience for the players."

Saturday July 26
Germany 3-1 Italy


Source: UEFA

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