Italy Under-21s Champions Of Toulon

Pablo Osvaldo was the hero as Italy’s Under-21 side won the Toulon Tournament for the first time following a 1-0 win over Chile in the final last night.
The Azzurrini made it to the final after defeating Japan on penalties in the semis on Tuesday, while Chile qualified having eliminated the Ivory Coast.

It was a very competitive and heated encounter, and there were fears at various points of the match that we could have another ‘Battle of Santiago’ on our hands, referring to the infamous game between the teams from the 1962 World Cup.

Italy were the better side throughout, and missed a number of chances to break the deadlock. Eventually they took the lead in the second half through the man-of-the-match Oscaldo, who ran onto a Daniele Dessena pass to flick the ball past the Chilean goalkeeper.

Italy almost made it two through substitute Tiberio Guarente, who lobbed the goalkeeper from near the halfway line, only to see his effort crash off the post.

Osvaldo went close again, before Chile poured forward in the closing moments looking for an equaliser, and nearly found one with the last kick of the game, as their brilliant number 10 Pedro Morales crashed a shot off the post from outside the area.

Italy held on to win the Toulon tournament, captain Antonio Nocerino lifting the cup, as Pierluigi Casiraghi’s Azzurrini all celebrated.

Anthony Sormani