Tuesday, 7 October 2008

[U19] Russia and Latvia pip Italy

The 2008 runners-up Italy have failed to qualify for next year's UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals in Ukraine after finishing behind both Russia and Latvia in the Qualifying round.

Massimo PiscedaGoing into the final day of qualifying round Group 3 in Moldova, Russia had won the group with two victories but Italy were a point ahead of Latvia and Moldova having drawn 2-2 with each.

Massimo Pisceda's men knew a win against Russia would book their progress but never recovered from conceding a second-minute Maksim Grigoriev penalty, while Latvia secured a 1-0 win against Moldova.

The Azzurrini, who only had Domenico Marchetti remaining from the squad that reached the final in the Czech Republic last summer, found themselves 1-0 and 2-1 down against Latvia on Thursday 2 October but Marco Augusto Romizi equalised on the stroke of half-time and Davide Petrucci secured a draw with nine minutes left despite Ciro Immobile's subsequent red card.

It was little different two days later as Italy had to twice come from behind to hold Moldova 2-2 with Ettore Mendicino cancelling out both times.

Italy will now be preparing to take part in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt between 24 September and 16 October. They qualified for the World Cup by reaching the final of the European U19 Championships last year.

They will then begin the qualifying campaign to reach the 2010 European finals in France.

Source: UEFA

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