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2023 UEFA Euro U19: Portugal stages impressive comeback to secure 5-1 victory over ten-man Italy

Portugal U19 5 – 1 Italy U19

Luca Lipani of Italy, right, celebrates with teammate Cher N'dour after scoring their side's second goal
Luca Lipani of Italy, right, celebrates with teammate Cher N'dour after scoring their side's second goal [Photo Credit: Seb Daly]

Portugal U19 staged an impressive comeback to defeat ten-man Italy U19, securing a resounding 5-1 victory and claiming the top spot in Group A at the UEFA U19 Championship.

In a clash between two powerhouse nations, Italy took an early lead in the fifth minute when Luis Hasa’s well-placed cross found Luca Lipani, who headed the ball home to make it 1-0.

Portugal responded in the 20th minute with a swift counterattack as Rodrigo Ribeiro burst down the right flank, delivering a cross into the box, but Carlos Borges couldn’t connect.

However, Portugal equalized in the 34th minute after a defensive error. Borges swung his foot at the loose ball, finding Ribeiro unmarked, who calmly finished into the bottom left corner.

Just before halftime, Italy’s goal scorer Lipani was shown a red card for a high arm challenge on Gustavo Sá, reducing Italy to ten men.

Nuno Félix had a chance to give Portugal the lead before halftime with a half-volley, but goalkeeper Mastrantonio made a save to keep the score level.

Portugal dominated the second half, capitalizing on their numerical advantage. They displayed excellent attacking interplay, creating multiple chances.

In the 53rd minute, Hugo Félix came close to scoring with a left-footed shot, but Mastrantonio tipped it over the bar.

Four minutes later, Sá put Portugal ahead with a powerful shot into the top right corner, giving his team a deserved lead.

Gabriel Brás extended Portugal’s advantage in the 73rd minute, heading the ball into the bottom right corner, securing a two-goal cushion.

Despite their comfortable lead, Portugal continued to press forward. Diogo Prioste’s curling effort narrowly missed the far post.

In the 89th minute, Hugo Félix added another goal, calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner to cap off an excellent passing move.

Portugal didn’t let up in added time, as substitute João Vasconcelos Faria Gonçalves beat his defender and finished into the far corner, compounding Italy’s misery.

The result ensured Portugal’s top position in Group A, setting up their final group game against tournament hosts Malta. Italy, meanwhile, will face Poland in their last group stage match.

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