• Amajita undone by Italy at Suwon Stadium

    Repo Malepe of South Africa reacts to penalty decision Repo Malepe of South Africa reacts to penalty decision

    Amajita fell to their second defeat in the U20 World Cup, after they suffered a 2-0 defeat against Italy at the Suwon Stadium on Wednesday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.

    The Italian side got their campaign back on track, courtesy of goals by Ricarrdo Orsolini and Andrea Favilli.

    Italy were the superior side for most of the match and took the lead after Orsolini slotted home from the penalty spot before doubling their lead in the 57th minute when Giuseppe Scalera’s long throw-in found Favilli, who steered his header to the far post and into the net.

    The Azzurri claimed their first points of the tournament to move to the top of the table, while South Africa are still looking for their first victory and currently occupy last place.

    The Italians now have a chance to qualify for the next round, while South Africa are on the brink of elimination, as they face a tough test against Uruguay in their next encounter.

    The match got off to a fast-pace star,t with both teams showing their attacking intent.

    Giuseppe Panico had a great opportunity to hand Italy the lead in the sixth minute when he produced a strike at goal, but Amajita shot-stopper Mpoto got down low to deny the forward.

    Amajita had a chance of their own four minutes later when Luther Singh beat his marker, before striking a shot at goal, but his effort was guided wide of the target.

    Italy came close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute, but Mpoto came to his side’s rescue to deny Andrea Favilli’s strike at goal.

    At the other end, the South African side were struggling to keep hold of possession and were forced to soak up the pressure from the Italians in the opening 20 minutes.

    Italy nearly took the lead when Giuseppe Pezzella’s cross deflected off Reeve Frosler, hitting the top of the crossbar before Mpoto palmed it out for a corner.

    From the corner, Panico saw his header saved off the line by Grant Margeman, however Wiseman Meyiwa was adjudged to have fouled Riccardo Orsolini just inside the area and a penalty was awarded. Orsolini stepped up to take it and made no mistake to make it 1-0.

    Amajita had a chance to equalise five minutes later as Thabo Cele sent an inviting free kick into the area, but the Azzurri were on hand to quickly clear their lines.

    Italy nearly doubled their lead in the 35th minute when Favilli unleashed a strike at goal, but saw his effort blazed over the crossbar.

    The South Africans looked a better side in the second half, but it was Italy who produced the first effort in the 50th minute through Rolando Mandragora and Orsalini.

    Italy then made it 2-0 in the 57th minute as Giuseppe Scalera launched a long throw into the path of Favelli, who headed the ball into the back of the net past Mpoto.

    Singh should’ve given Amajita the lead in the 66th minute as his free kick almost caught Andrea Zaccagno unawares, but the Italian goalkeeper made a great save to turn the ball around the post.

    Malebogo Modise had a chance of his own just after the hour mark when he beat his marker before sending a low cross into the box, but Liam Jordan couldn’t sort his feet out in time to steer his effort on target.

    Amajita continued to press forward in search of a goal as Singh drilled in a free kick, which evaded captain Tercious Malepe and almost caught Zaccagno off his line.

    The South African side had a great opportunity to pull a goal back when the ball fell to Reeve Frosler, but the right back couldn’t steer his effort on target.

    In the closing stages of the match, Singh beat his markers down the flank before unleashing a striker at goal, but his attempt failed to beat the Italian goalkeeper at the near post.

    Photo: Fifa website

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