FIFA U20s World Cup: Italy beat Mexico 2-1 in opening day encounter

23 May at 22:30
Italy picked up a deserved 2-1 win over Mexico in their opening game of the FIFA Under-20s World Cup in Poland.

An early goal from Davide Frattesi was canceled out by a Roberto de la Rosa strike later in the first half, but Luca Ranieri’s 67th minute finish ensured that Paolo Nicolato’s men started the tournament on a winning note.

The young Azzurri started off brightly as Luca Pellegrini forced a save off Mexican goalkeeper Carlos Higuera from a free-kick down the left-flank. But a minute later, an impressive piece of play from the Italians saw Gianluca Scamacca set Frattesi up and the Sassuolo man rifled a shot in from about 22 yards.

Mexico grew into the game as the game wore on, but Diego Lainez was kept quiet by Pellegrini. A period of constant possession helped them score eight minutes before half-time as a corner from the left could not be caught by Alessandro Plizzari, who was involved in a miscommunication with Scamacca.

De La Rosa was left to stab into an open net, handing the Mexicans a big equalizer.

The second half saw Mexico dominate possession, leaving the Azzurri to play on the break. Both Scamacca and Andrea Pinamonti struggled to make an impact but after the Inter striker hit the bar, the resulting corner made the goal.

Mexico failed to clear the corner away properly and it fell to Ranieri, who came up with a striker’s finish to get Italy back in front.

The win saw SPAL youngster Salvatore Esposito come up with an impressive performance from midfield.

The other two teams in Italy’s group- Japan and Ecuador played later in the day.

By Kaustubh Pandey (@Kaus_Pandey17)


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