After a disappointing goalless draw against Serbia in their first match of the European championship, Italy's Under 21 team bounced back today with a convincing 2-1 victory against hosts Sweden.
Coach Pierluigi Casiraghi was enthusiastic about his side's performance.
"The lads were fantastic because it's not easy to play with ten men against eleven for most of the game, they showed not just great talent but also great character," he said to Goal.com Italia. "It was a very difficult match, but even though we suffered we won."
Mario Balotelli opened the scoring for the Azzurrini, but was handed a red card for kicking out at a Swedish player shortly before the break.
On this episode, Casiraghi said: "I didn't see well what happened, I'll see it tonight. He scored a fantastic goal, the kind only great champions can score. At the moment he is our anti-hero."
Although the victory against Sweden was a big step towards the semifinals, the qualification hasn't been achieved just yet.
"We have not done anything yet, so let's keep our heads down and keep working," the coach concluded.
Danilo Pochini, Goal.com