Ireland Beat Italy to Win U21 Euros on Home Soil

Republic of Ireland have won their first significant international honour with a 4-1 win over Italy at Dublin’s Dalymount Park in the UEFA U21 European Championship Final.

The hosts started brightest and came close inside three minutes when centre-back Gerard Flanaghan headed against the far post from a deep corner from Peterborough midfielder Emmet King. Ten minutes later, King’s short free-kick was worked by Dean O’Meara to Gavin French who had his shot pushed on to the post by the Italian ‘keeper.

The Italians had their first effort on target on 25 minutes played when Gennaro Tutino’s surge towards goal ended with a fierce 20-yard effort that Darragh McEntee had be smart to react to and tip it round the post.

On half-hour, the Irish persistence paid off as Gavin French timed his run perfectly to meet O’Meara’s cross from the left and looped his header over Niccolò Rossetti to the delight of the majority of the 10,000-strong crowd in Dublin.

Italy made two changes at the break, including the unusual move of bringing on Samuele Piazzi in goal. He kept out a pair of Irish efforts before the hosts got a second with an hour played. A cross from Dave Murray was headed away but under pressure, half-time sub Flavio Liberti played his backpass to Piazzi short and Emmet King nipped in to score from ten yards.

Glauco D’Elia got in behind the Irish defence on 72 minutes, bringing down a long-ball from Loernzo Gentili before chesting it down, and taking it round McEntee to make it 2-1. Ireland restored the two-goal advantage almost straight away through Finbar Harkin. Anthony Tracey beat Gennaro Tutino to the ball and knocked it back to Ross Devaney who lobbed it into the box for Harkin to control, set himself, and crack a low drive home for Ireland.

A last-ditch tackle in the 82nd minute by Devaney as D’Elia looked certain to score was the last of the Italian chances, and Dave Murray wrapped-up a famous victory with 93:26 on the clock when he tapped home after King flicked on a Eoin Bermingham corner to the far post.

Neal Maupay of France (who beat Romania 3-2 in a Playoff Qualifier for the 2020 Olympics) finished the tournament as top scorer with eight goals in five games.

                 UEFA U21 CHAMPIONSHIPS: FINAL
                      IRELAND 4-1 ITALY
                    French 30     D'Elia 72
                      King 61
                    Harkin 76
                  Murray 90+4
                     Dalymount Park, Dublin

          IRELAND U21                     ITALY U21
 1. D.McEntee        Doncaster |  1. N.Rossetti          Lazio
 2. B.McLaughlin             - |  2. T.Materazzo       Catania
 5. G.Shanaham         Burnley |  5. P.Cantile               -
 4. G.Flanagan          Wolves |  4. L.Vélez        Fiorentina
 3. R.Devaney     Bristol City |  3. M.Cento       Real Madrid
 7. B.Miller      St Patrick's |  7. G.Tutino           Napoli
 6. I.Fallon          Rochdale |  8. C.Davoli            Inter
 8. E.Bermingham     Doncaster |  6. L.Gentili            Roma
11. D.O'Meara         Shamrock | 11. A.Panepinto      Juventus
 9. E.King        Peterborough |  9. G.D'Elia          Palermo
10. G.French      Sligo Rovers | 10. E.Mancinelli     Dortmund
------------------------------ | ------------------------------
16. F.Harkin          Rochdale | 12. S.Piazzi              PSG
17. A.Tracey      Sligo Rovers | 15. S.Selvaggio      Atalanta
19. D.Murray                 - | 16. F.Liberti         Sochaux

Youth News: Matthys Injured with Belgium


Hervé Matthys was injured on international duty with Belgium U19 this afternoon, being carried off with a gashed leg in the closing stages of their Friendly win over Denmark in Viborg. Stéfano Vandebosch scored the only goal of the game shortly before the incident.

Staying with Belgium, Wout Devriendt and Samy Bourard both featured in the U21’s 1-0 win over Switzerland. Björn Hillewaere scored the only goal of the game in the 66th minute in their Friendly in Tessenderlo.

Also playing U21 football tonight were Benjamin Bella (Germany, 1-1 v. South Korea), Koray Günter and Ogün Gümüstas (both Turkey, 1-0 v. Cyprus), and Ivan Shapovalov (Ukraine, 1-1 v. Israel). Elsewhere, Jeremy Dudziak played the full match for Tunisia U20 in their 0-1 defeat at home to Mexico.

Youth International Friendlies: Nine in Action


Jeremy Dudziak and Ogün Gümüstas both scored for their countries in tonight’s youth international friendlies. Dudziak, on loan at Ingolstadt, put Tunisia U20s ahead early on in Benin before they ran out eventual 2-0 winners.

Gümüstas (on loan at Cottbus) and Koray Günter (at St Pauli) both appeared for Turkey U21 who won in Iceland, with Gümüstas scoring a last-minute penalty to wrap-up the scoreline at 3-0.

Also in U21 action were Wout Devriendt and Samy Bourard (both Belgium) who beat Montenegro 4-0, Ivan Shapovalov (Ukraine) whose side beat Andorra 3-0, Benjamin Bella (Germany) who lost 2-3 at home to Croatia, and Emiliano Mancinelli (Italy) who drew 2-2 with Australia.

Hervé Matthys came on for the last twenty minutes for Belgium shortly after they went 5-0 up against Bulgaria, and that’s how it stayed in their U19 friendly in Wavre.

Youth Internationals: Mancinelli On Target


Eight BVB youngsters represented their countries last night, with Emiliano Mancinelli finding the back of the net for Italy U21 in their 3-1 friendly win in Sweden. Atalanta’s Christopher Tufano had scored a brace to put Italy two-up before Mancinelli scored on the half-hour.

Left-back Wout Devriendt made his Belgian U21 début as the side lost to a late goal from West Ham midfielder Marc Linighan against England in Colchester. Jeremy Dudziak made a key pass in Tunisia U20’s 1-1 draw with Chile, while Bernd Kandziora was the other Dortmund player to play 90 minutes, turning out for Austria U19 in their 1-0 win over Switerland.

Samy Bourard captained Belgium U19 in their 4-0 friendly win over Algeria, but was stretchered off just five minutes in. Scans show nothing more than heavy bruising, and he may feature on Tuesday night against the Netherlands. Hervé Matthys came on in the 82nd minute for Belgium.

Ilker Aydin played 75 minutes for Turkey U19s in their 0-1 defeat in Northern Ireland, looking pacey upfront but unable to work more than one shot away all night. Finally, Benjamin Bella played for Germany U21 in their 3-0 win over Norway, with Bayern’s Lennart Klose scoring a hat-trick.

No Senior International Callups at Dortmund


Nine Borussia Dortmund players have been called up for the forthcoming round of international fixtures over the weekend, though – as per the club’s request due to Europa League commitments – no senior players have been selected for friendly duty. Youth internationals are being held on 20 and 24 March.

Three of those players are out on loan, with Jeremy Dudziak (at Ingolstadt) being selected for Tunisia U20 and looking to win his second cap. Hervé Matthys (Darmstadt) is named in the Belgium U19 squad alongside Samy Bourard, and Koray Günter (St Pauli) is set to win his tenth cap for Turkey U21.

Wout Devriendt has been called-up to the Belgian U21 squad for the first time, while young strikers Emiliano Mancinelli and Benjamin Bella are named in the Italian and German U21 squads respectively.

Ilker Aydin has been selected for the Turkey U19s, but the uncapped player hasn’t yet committed to either them or Germany as he’s eligible for both. Last but not least, Bernd Kandziora is named in the Austria U19 squad.

The senior international friendlies are taking place a fortnight before qualifiers resume for Euro 2016. Highlights on Saturday include Scotland-Argentina, Brazil-Peru, Russia-Germany, France-Romania, and Spain-Japan. Wednesday sees such matches as Austria-Argentina, England-Brazil, France-Colombia, and Germany-Uruguay.

Youth Intls: Mancinelli Scores Maiden Brace


emiliano-mancinelli-70Seventeen year-old striker Emiliano Mancinelli bagged a brilliant brace against South Korea to open his international goalscoring account for Italy U21 on his third appearance for his country, in one of tonight’s youth international friendlies.

Korea were in front in Potenza inside five minutes but Mancinelli’s goals turned the score around before the hosts went on to win 4-1 with another pair of goals either side of the interval.

Seven other Dortmund players turned out for their countries tonight, with Samy Bourard making his first international appearance alongside Hervé Matthys for Belgium U19 in their surprise 1-2 defeat at home by New Zealand.

Jeremy Dudziak made his first start for Tunisia U20 after representing Germany at U19 level, while Bernd Kandziora (Austria) and Benjamin Bella (Germany) were on U19 duty. At U21 level, loaned players Leo Bittencourt (Germany) and Mustafa Amini (Australia) also earned caps for their countries.

Tomorrow night sees the senior international sides play friendlies, with nine players in the Germany squad to play Colombia, and a potential first senior cap for Dennis Praet as Belgium travel to Turkey.