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Israel 0-4 Italy
Saturday, 08 June, 2013
Italy progress to semi-finals of Euro 2013 after victory over hosts Israel
Israel 0-4 Italy
UEFA European Under-21 Championship
Group A Match
7.30pm, Saturday 8 June 2013
Italy secured their place in the European Under-21 Championship semi-finals with a comprehensieve 4-0 victory over ten-man Israel in Tel Aviv.
Hosts Israel started strongly but were stung by an early goal from Riccardo Saponara.
And once Eyal Golasa was sent-off for a poor challenge on the Italian goalscorer, the hosts were always chasing the game.
That proved fatal, as Manolo Gabbiadini added a second before half-time – and once he added a third shortly after the interval the game was over.
With Norway knocking England out of the competition earlier in the day, Italy's victory means their game against the Scandinavians will decide who tops Group A, with England facing Israel to avoid the wooden spoon.
Italy were tested early on and Alon Turgeman was inches away from turning in a low cross for the opening goal.
But when the Azzuri had a chance to break they took it in real style.
The ball was swiftly moved forward from the back, and Lorenzo Insignie, who scored the only goal against England in their opening game, played a delicious cross-field ball to Ciro Immobile.
The striker could have been tempted to have a shot himself but instead he laid the ball off perfectly to the on-rushing Saponara, who fired a smart finish into the bottom corner.
Turgeman then fired wide when well placed shortly after, as Israel mounted a strong response.
But their hopes were dealt a huge blow when Golasa was dismissed after 38 minutes.
The Israeli seemed unhappy with the decision, but it did appear that he went into a challenge with Saponara with both feet. Referee Ovidiu Hategan was in no doubt, however, and Golasa had to head for an early bath.
And Italy took full advantage of their man advantage shortly before half-time. Again it was a fine passing move that ended with Immobile passing to Gabbiadini, who found the bottom corner from just outside the area.
It was three just eight minutes after the interval, Gabbiadini getting the second goal his performance deserved as he rifled home a free-kick from outside the area, his low strike giving Boris Kleyman in the Israel goal no chance.
Italy were attacking at will now, with Kleyman making a number of saves to ensure the scoreline remained respectable.
Yet he could do little when Alessandro Florenzi made it four with 20 minutes to go – but Italy were content to play out time as they eased into the last four.
Bardi, Donati, Biraghi, Caldirola, Bianchetti, Verratti (Sansone, 70), Florenzi, Insigne (Rossi, 40), Immobile, Gabbiadini (Destro, 57), Saponara.
Kleyman, Dasa (Verta, 45), Vahaba, Twatha, Ben Harush, Zaguri, Biton, Krieff, Golasa, Kalibat (Azam, 83), Turgeman (Barouch, 67).
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