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FIFA U20 World Cup: Italy Stuns England as Casadei’s Penalty Sends Azzurri Through

[Credit: Hector Vivas/ FIFA]

England U20 1 – 2 Italy U20

Italy eliminated England from the U20 World Cup with a stunning penalty from Cesare Casadei, the tournament’s top goal scorer.

Italy took an early lead through Tommaso Baldanzi, while Alfie Devine responded for England. However, it was Casadei’s 87th-minute penalty that ultimately made the difference in the match.

England had a successful group stage, remaining unbeaten and finishing atop Group E with seven points. They secured victories against Tunisia and Uruguay and concluded with a goalless draw against Iraq.

Italy qualified in second place behind Brazil, whom they defeated in their tournament opener. Despite a loss to Nigeria, a convincing 3-0 win against the Dominican Republic propelled them through on goal difference.

Italy grabbed the lead in the eighth minute when Giuseppe Ambrosino delivered a precise outside-of-the-boot pass to Baldanzi, who calmly poked the ball home for a 1-0 advantage.

England quickly looked to respond, but Sebastiano Desplanches comfortably saved Mateo Joseph’s driven shot.

In the 15th minute, Devine came close to equalizing for England as his left-footed shot struck the crossbar from inside the area.

Baldanzi remained involved in the action, making a run toward goal five minutes later, but his shot lacked the necessary power to trouble Matthew Cox.

Dane Scarlett’s excellent wing play created space for a cross, finding Devine, who expertly guided his volley past Desplanches to level the game in the 24th minute.

Just before halftime, Carney Chukwuemeka attempted to ignite an attack, but Alessandro Fontanarosa’s well-timed sliding challenge prevented any danger.

The second half started quietly in terms of chances, with Italy maintaining control of possession. Ian Foster’s side displayed a solid defensive shape, frustrating the Italians in their search for a breakthrough.

In the 70th minute, England applied pressure with a flurry of chances, including a potential penalty when Chukwuemeka appeared to be brought down in the box. However, the referee and VAR deemed it not a penalty.

The game took a dramatic turn in the final ten minutes when Casadei controlled the ball with his chest and fired a shot towards goal, only to be blocked by Jarrell Quansah. VAR intervened to review a possible handball, leading the referee to consult the monitor and award a penalty.

Casadei confidently stepped up and struck his penalty into the top left corner, giving Italy the lead and securing his position as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals.

England pushed for a second equalizer, but Italy held firm to secure the victory and set up a quarter-final clash against Colombia.

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