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Played
June 19, 2009 3:00 PM BST
Olympia, Helsingborg, (SWE)
Referee:‬ Tony Chapron (FRA)‎
 
90′ +7
That's it for the live commentary of this encounter, but be sure to closely follow Goal.com's coverage of the remainder of this tournament. It's sure to be a cracker!
 
90′ +6
The Italians are overjoyed with their efforts. In truth, they've deserved their success, with another strong defensive effort, which was coupled with some lovely creativity from Giovinco. It was the clichéd 'professional' performance and Italy now go top of the group. Meanwhile, Sweden will be frustrated with their inability to make half chances count. They will likely have to beat Serbia in their final game if they are to qualify - no easy task.
 
90′ +5
Indeed it does! FULL-TIME!
 
90′ +4
Another Italian free kick as Harbuzi loses the ball and clipped an Italian. That could do it...
 
90′ +3
Cigarini has gone down, perhaps adding another minute to play. There's nothing wrong with him, though.
 
90′ +1
Elm with a shot blocked at the edge of the box - Sweden are pushing just about everyone forward! The pressure is released by a foul on Ranocchia.
 
90′ +1
Consigli booked for a fairly blatant piece of time wasting. There's three minutes of stoppage time, by the way.
 
90′
Yellow Card Andrea Consigli
 
90′
Bjarsmar's low pass forward is flicked on brilliantly by Berg. Toivonen, for once, is composed in front of goal, lashing a strike into the corner of the net. Game on...
 
89′
GOAL.... 2-1 - TOIVONEN!!!
 
89′
Goal Ola Toivonen
 
89′
Marchisio walks off the park to be replaced by Dossena.
 
88′
Substitution Claudio Marchisio Daniele Dessena
 
88′
Nice feet from Olsson at the edge of the box, shooting goalward, despite heavy pressure from the defence. Consigli fields the ball impressively.
 
87′
Italy are routinely putting all ten of their players behind the ball. Sweden can't break down the massed ranks, although the Italians are inviting pressure on themselves because there's no out ball for them.
 
85′
Sweden have had nearly 60 per cent of the ball but have struggled to create a real chance close to the visiting goal.
 
83′
ELM... A delicious curling effort from 25-yards. He faked to strike with his right then drifted to his left, but his shot lacked in power and a little in accuracy.
 
83′
The pressure on Italy is relieved further as Cigarini is fouled on the halfway line by Olsson.
 
81′
Italy continue to repel Sweden's crosses. The home fans have gone silent, their team's chances of getting even a point now are looking slim.
 
79′
Olsson! Good drive from a difficult angle on the right side of the box. Consigli drops quickly onto the ball. Fine save.
 
78′
Lustig fires in another dangerous centre but the packed Italian defence clears. The ball is recycled to Lustig, who centres to the back post to Olsson. The striker's header narrowly evades Berg and is gathered by Consigli on the goal-line.
 
77′
Nice from Motta in the centre of the park, lobbing the ball over one man, controlling the ball on his chest, then doing the same to another. It didn't lead to anything, but it was a classy piece of skill.
 
76′
Italy understandably - remember they're down to ten men - are doing very little in the way of attacking. Acquafresca, scorer of a fine second goal, is taken off to be replaced by Ranocchia.
 
76′
Yellow Card Marcus Berg
 
74′
Substitution Robert Acquafresca Andrea Ranocchia
 
74′
OLSSON... Oh... So close... Again the danger comes down the right. Olsson got across his marker and sent a diving header angling towards the far corner of the net. The ball skids off the turf and somehow beats the far post. Italy breathe again.
 
73′
OH..... Harbouzi's centre is excellent, just evading Bengtsson, who complains to the referee he was being tugged back - he had a point.
 
72′
Yellow Card Marco Motta
 
72′
Excellent dribbling from Olsson, who draws another foul for Motta - that could be a battle to watch in the last 20 minutes. Free kick for Sweden 30-yards out, left of centre.
 
71′
Elm's kick is poor, failing to clear the first man.
 
71′
Olsson draws a foul from Motta, whose been excellent since half-time. Chance for Sweden here, though...
 
70′
Italy defend the set piece impressively - as they have done for much of this afternoon.
 
69′
Harbuzi, the substitute, is spreading play well in the centre of the park. Elm is the recipient of his latest pass but Toivonen is not strong enough at the near post, despite winning a corner.
 
67′
OH.... Lustig whips in a dangerous cross from the right but Berg can't manoeuvre the space for a free header, glancing an effort well wide. That's Sweden's best chance in the last ten minutes.
 
67′
Cigarini's hit from the deadball is disappointing, rising well over the bar.
 
66′
Substitution Gustav Svensson Labinot Harbuzi
 
66′
Substitution Emir Bajrami Martin Olsson
 
66′
Motta darts infield and is brought down by Svensson, who is promptly withdrawn. A free kick for Italy 40-yards out.
 
64′
Italy are being a good work out as the Swedes are shifting possession from one side of the park to the other. The young Italians continue to defend impressively, and when in possession, they are rarely losing the ball cheaply.
 
62′
Giovinco is replaced by Abate - a well earned break for him. He may not have been involved in a great deal of play, but when he was in the match, he was devastating.
 
62′
Substitution Sebastian Giovinco Ignazio Abate
 
61′
A terrific diagonal ball picks out Bajrami, whose been quiet in the second half so far. Play goes away from goal but the Swedes shift the ball back towards Toivonen on the edge of the box. The striker teed up Wornbloom, whose low drive is blocked.
 
59′
Sweden continue to pump high balls into the Italian box. Andreolli and Bocchetti, whose having a fine game when the ball's not in his possession, are dealing with the threat superbly.
 
57′
Another excellent centre from Elm on the right, however, it zips past Toivonen at the near post and Berg was flat-footed at the back post. You'd expect a little more from the striker there.
 
56′
TOIVONEN AGAIN... Neat touch back from Elm to the striker, who strikes first time wide of the post. Great response from the Swedes, but they should have found the target with one of those chances.
 
55′
TOIVONEN!!! An error from Bocchetti - another one - presents possession to the striker, who tugged his shot across the goal.
 
54′
A gold star for the Atomic Ant here. Not only did he win the free kick, he delivered a terrific ball to Acquafresca, whose movement to the near post is brilliant and his header to the far corner telling. Long way back for Sweden now...
 
54′
GOOOAAALLLLL!!!!! Acquafresca!!!!
 
53′
Excellent from Giovinco, who looked totally isolated down the right but beat two men near the corner flag and won a free kick.
 
52′
Goal Robert Acquafresca
 
52′
Sweden's frontmen are surrendering possession too easily, making life easy for the talented Italian rearguard.
 
51′
The home supporters are growing increasingly frustrated by the referee as the rain starts to pour down - the sun is still shining though.
 
49′
De Ceglie fouled on the left by Lustig. The free kick is taken short to Cigarini, whose ambitious long-range effort goes just over.
 
47′
BERG!!!!! OH!!!! Nice start from Sweden again. Neat dummy from Berg eliminates his marker, leaving the ball to Toivonen. A first time pass back to Berg provided the striker with a shooting chance, albeit from a tighter angle than it should have been. His effort zips across the face of goal.
 
46′
Andreolli tested immediately but he rises high to impressively head a dangerous cross from the right flank. The Italians will need more of that in the next 44 minutes.
 
46′
Italy, clad in white, to kick us off in this second half...
 
 
Balotelli has made his way to the stands. He's currently surrounded by supporters, but he's looking distinctly depressed, head bowed and generally looking as if he wants the ground to swallow him up.
 
45′ +3
That's half-time, with Italy leading 1-0. Their defence has been magnificent and they looked bright offensively in the build-up to their goal. Despite this, Balotelli's red card will make things tough for Italy, especially as Sweden have achieved come-from-behind wins in each of their last three games.
 
45′ +2
Excellent goalkeeping from Consigli, whose impressed in the opening 45 minutes, punching clear at the edge of his box as Sweden threatened.
 
45′ +1
It looks like Italy will go in with the lead at half-time. We're in stoppage time now.
 
45′
Bajrami is shut down impressively on the edge of the box as a loose ball broke favourably to him.
 
44′
True to the stereotype of Italian football, they've reorganised themselves impressively. Toivonen, whose hardly won a header in the first half, is frustrated into committing a foul.
 
43′
Elm's ball in is poor, easily gathered by Consigli. That's his first bad one of the day but his timing is poor as the pressure on Italy was starting to increase.
 
43′
Free kick to the Swedes in a dangerous area on the left following a high boot from Criscito.
 
41′
Italy are under increasing pressure, with Sweden intent on exposing the extra space. The yellow-clad hosts have upped the tempo since Balotelli's dismissal.
 
40′
BAJRAMI!!! He's still causing problems, controlling a centre from Lustig but firing high over the bar under pressure. Well defended ultimately from the Italians.
 
38′
Red Card Mario Balotelli
 
38′
Balotelli and Wernbloom clash 25-yards from the Swedish goal. The Italian has an ill-judged nibble at the Swede, whose on the ground. The net result is a red card. You can't do that and get away with it.
 
38′
RED CARD! BALOTELLI! Oh dear... Balotelli's been involved in an off the ball incident with Wernbloom. And he's off!
 
37′
Another yellow card... Wernbloom - he obviously likes a tackle, Balotelli is crunched in the centre of the park. If it was a case of mistaken identity moments ago, he's a lucky man to be on the park.
 
37′
Yellow Card Pontus Wernbloom
 
36′
OH.... Bajrami is causing Italy problems down the Swedish left. A forceful run and a slick one-two with Berg nearly prise open the defence, however, his key touch is way too hard and the chance is gone.
 
35′
Criscito steals in to head away just as Elm was about to pull the trigger from a Johansson cross. Balotelli goes down in a crumpled heap under a challenge from Lustig - the Swedish crowd aren't too impressed by the Italians' readiness to go to ground.
 
33′
Yellow Card Rasmus Elm
 
33′
Elm is booked... it's a little unclear why, and from the expression of his team-mates, they don't know either. Mistaken identity maybe?
 
31′
Sweden are getting back into the game. Marchisio is down in pain after going in for a 50-50 challenge with Wernbloom. He's going to receive some treament so there will be a delay in the game.
 
30′
Brilliant defending from Motta to close down Bajrami, who peeled off at the back post in an attempt to chest down another excellent Elm centre. It looked like the door was open but the right-back slammed it in his face!
 
29′
GIOVINCO... Cheeky! A 40-yard lob just drops over the bar, although it looked like Dahlin had it covered. The Juve youngster is looking very bright indeed when he's presented with possession.
 
29′
Yellow Card Ola Toivonen
 
28′
OH... brilliant centre from Elm towards Berg, whose really struggling to shake the Italian defence. The forward can't reach the excellent centre.
 
27′
Balotelli doesn't endear himself to the home support any further with a high challenge on Lustig.
 
26′
That goal was coming, to be honest. Sweden's response thus far hasn't been too bad. Bajrami goes on a direct diagonal run across the Italian box but refused the chance to shoot when it was presented. The chance is ultimately lost.
 
24′
Subtle play from Giovinco in the middle of the park suddenly unlocks the Swedish defence. A deft lobbed pass to his left picks out Balotelli, who cuts inside along the 18-yard box and curls a beautiful shot into the corner of the net, wandering away nonchalantly to celebrate a superb strike. Excellent.
 
23′
GOOOOALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! BALOTELLI!!!! Stunning goal!
 
23′
Goal Mario Balotelli
 
23′
The Swedes threaten a promising break down their left but the ball just escapes Johansson's clutches and goes out for a thrown.
 
22′
Sweden are punished for a foul throw in their own half - that sums up the way things are going for them at the moment.
 
20′
After a rather nervy start, Italy have roared back into the game. The midfield is starting to dominate, stroking the ball about beautifully at present. Sweden are struggling to get a touch.
 
18′
Oh... Excellent play from De Ceglie down the left - Italy are getting some joy there at the moment. He got to the byline and whipped in a floated cross to the back post, where Acquafresca headed goalward. Dahlin has his angles right and makes a comfortable save.
 
17′
OH LOVELY PLAY ITALY... The best attacking movement of the match to this point. Balotelli tucks the ball inside to Giovinco, whose deft pass is just too hard for Acquafresca, whose struggled to get involved so far.
 
16′
Sweden are lining up a long throw... Elm's chuck bounces in the box - not the most convincing defending from Italy, though Consigli gathers without worry ultimately.
 
15′
Balotelli gets his first real touch of the ball on the right - he's even booed in Sweden - but he can't do anything with possession on this occasion, allowing the ball to dribble out for a Swedish throw.
 
14′
After a rapid start to the match, the Italians have taken the sting out of things a bit, despite struggling to get their own offence going.
 
12′
OH... and strike it he does! The ball takes a flick off Marchisio but Consigli is down well to his right makes a solid save.
 
12′
Toivonen wins a free kick from Andreolli, who is harshly punished 30-yards out, almost right in front of goal. Elm is favourite to strike this...
 
10′
A long ball forward is aimed towards the diminutive Giovinco. Unsurprisingly, the Swedish goalkeeper jumps above the Juve man to claim the bouncing ball.
 
10′
Good ball in but the Swedes head clear under pressure. Throw to Italy on the right.
 
9′
Italy try to settle by keeping some possession amongst their back four. The young Italians break down the right, with Motta playing a neat chipped pass to Giovinco, whose cheeky back-heel wins a free kick on the right. Dangerous position this...
 
7′
What a great up-tempo start to the game! Sweden break up the park, Bajrami smacking an ambitious effort over the bar from distance. Very positive indeed.
 
6′
Bocchetti heads over under pressure.
 
6′
Corner to Italy, their first foray in Swedish territory. Bocchetti makes up for his earlier error to some extent with a fine pass to Acquafresca. He is challenged but wins a corner.
 
5′
Sweden allow the ball to flow from the left to the right. Elm plays a pass to right-back Lustig, whose centre picks out Berg. An ambitious header from the edge of the box flies well wide of goal.
 
4′
The Swedes are snapping into challenges very quickly in the centre of the park, not letting Italy settle on the ball.
 
2′
Another Swedish chance! An excellent back post cross from the left sees Lustig out-jump Bocchetti but head over from 10-yards out. What a horrible start from the Italians!
 
1′
OHHH.... terrible start to the match by Bocchetti, who is short with his pass-back to goalkeeper Consigli. Berg pounces onto the ball but the angle is tight and the Italian defence quickly swarms round him. His cross to the back post is just over-hit.
 
1′
And off we go....
 
 
It's a lovely sunny day here at the Olympia in Helsingborg. Marcus Berg, who scored a hat-trick last time out, is looking to shine after his hat-trick in the first game. It's he that will kick this game off...
 
 
The anthems are currently playing and the teams look focused. This is a big match for both sides - Sweden can all but seal their passage to the knock-out stages while Italy need to get back on track after their low-key opening.
 
 
Hello and welcome to Helsingborg, where hosts Sweden face Italy in the European Under-21 championships. The Swedes are looking to build on their flying start, a come-from-behind crushing of Belarus, who would eventually be downed 5-1. Italy, meanwhile, impressed defensively but misfired going forward in their 0-0 draw against Serbia.
 
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