Wednesday, 25 March 2009

[U21] Younger Azzurrini hold Austria

Alberto Paloschi scored on his debut for Italy Under-21s as the Azzurrini fought back from 2-0 down to hold Austria 2-2 in Vienna.

Alberto PaloschiPierluigi Casiraghi's 19-man squad for the friendly was made up of players who were eligible for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championships so only six players had previously represented the country at U21 level.

The inexperience showed as Austria powered into a 2-0 lead thanks to Marc Sand's strike after 12 minutes and Julian Baumgartlinger doubled their advantage shortly before the interval.

However, the Azzurrini managed to engineer a second half comeback and reduced the deficit on the hour mark after an Andrea Ranocchia corner was inadvertently struck past his own goalkeeper by Dominic Purcher.

Just four minutes later Parma starlet Paloschi, on loan from AC Milan, fired in the equaliser to complete the comeback and despite further opportunities at both end, the match finished level.

With Italy in action in this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Sweden in June, the qualifying campaign for Denmark 2011 will begin in September and the Azzurrini are in Group 3 with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Luxembourg and Wales.

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