After beating Russia 2-0 on Friday, Devis Mangia‘s Italy defeated Ukraine with a second-half goal from Ciro Immobile yesterday night in their last friendly before the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel.
Genoa CFC striker Immobile and SSC Napoli‘s Lorenzo Insigne again proved how well they link up in attack after playing together at Pescara Calcio last season – when instrumental in that club’s Serie A promotion. They were responsible for most of the Azzurrini’s chances in the first half in Bassano del Grappa, and it was Immobile who got the 59th-minute winner after dribbling past a defender and finding the far post with a precise shot from the left.
Insigne also had the first opportunity of the night after only three minutes when he got past Dmytro Ryzhuk and just missed the target with his right foot. Two minutes later Italy midfielder Luca Marrone failed to get his angles right from good position, allowing Artur Denchuk to make a comfortable save.
While Insigne and Immobile carried the main threat to Ukraine, Riccardo Saponara was denied by Denchuk midway through the opening period and substitute Samuele Longo wasted his chance to end the stalemate soon after the interval. In the event it was Immobile who found the breakthrough. Mangia made nine substitutions during the second half, as the Azzurrini continued to attack but failed to add to their advantage.
Italy: Bardi (Colombi 46); Crimi, Regini, Bianchetti (Romagnoli 89), Biraghi (Frascatore 46); Saponara (Sansone 63), Marrone (Sala 79), Bertolacci (Viviani 78), Insigne (Rossi 78); Paloschi (Longo 46), Immobile (Donati 88).