Antonino Barilla scored twice as Italy secured a comfortable victory over Luxembourg to claw back some ground on pacesetters Wales to remain in contention in Group 3 of qualifying for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
The five-time winners began the day five points adrift of Hungary, who they lost to on Friday, and a daunting nine behind leaders Wales.
Those deficits have now been reduced by three and, with games against both sides to come, Pierluigi Casiraghi's team are by no means out of the reckoning.
They did not break the deadlock in Luxembourg until the 37th minute when Barilla was left with a simple finish after good work from Lorenzo De Silvestri.
Reggina midfielder Barilla turned into an unguarded net to double his personal tally on 77 minutes, by which time the Azzurrini had already scored a second courtesy of substitute Roberto Soriano, who converted the rebound after the impressive Ezequiel Matias Schelotto had been denied.
Barilla turned provider with seven minutes remaining, sending in the corner from which Guido Marilungo, who had only come off the bench five minutes previously, met with his head for Italy's fourth.
The result gives Italy a massive boost ahead of the visit of Hungary in March. The 10 group winners and four best runners-up will qualify for the play-off stage, with the seven winners joining hosts Denmark in the finals in June 2011.
Group 3 Results
Tuesday 17 November
Luxembourg 0-4 Italy
Wednesday 18 November
Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 Wales
Group 3 Standings
 WAL - PLD: 06 - PTS: 13
 HUN - PLD: 04 - PTS: 09
 ITA - PLD: 05 - PTS: 07
 LUX - PLD: 07 - PTS: 04
 BOS - PLD: 04 - PTS: 04
Next Group 3 Fixtures
Tuesday 2 March
Italy v Hungary
Luxembourg v Bosnia-Herzegovina