UEFA Under-19 Championships: Croatia 0-0 Italy - Ten-Man Azzurrini Hold On

Albertazzi's sending off ensured a tense final 30 minutes to the match...
Italy and Croatia are both left with just one point in Group B after two matches, falling a 0-0 stalemate in Mondeville, France. Both have plenty of work to do if they hope to advance as they trail relentless Spain by five points and Portugal by two points.

Croatia had the better of the early chances, testing Italian goalkeeper Simone Colombi with an early free-kick from Filip Ozobic and also spurning a number of chances. Italy ended the half stronger, with a set-piece from their top-scorer in qualifying, Mattia Destro, being palmed away and a goal-line clearance needed on an effort from Chelsea striker Fabio Borini.

The second-half saw Milan-owned defender Michelangelo Albertazzi succumb to the pressure, picking up two yellow cards in quick succession just before the hour mark, leaving Italy at a numerical disadvantage.

Croatia tried to seize the initiative with their extra man and nearly did, but the post came to their opponents' rescue on Arijan Ademi's bouncing strike from a long way out with just ten minutes remaining. Italy were organised well and nearly pinched a winner at the end through Destro, but shot-stopper Matej Delac was up to the task and the match finished as it had began - with no goals.

Italy take on Spain next, while Croatia face Portugal in the final group fixtures. Both matches are on Saturday.

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