2017 FIFA U-20 WC: Italy break Zambian hearts; win 3-2 to reach semis

Sowon, South Korea (PANA) - Italy came back from behind twice against Zambia to beat the African champions 3-2 after extra time to reach the semi-final of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup competition in South Korea.

The Italian victory on Monday at the Sowon World Cup Stadium, despite playing with 10 men from the 43rd minute when defender Guiseppe Pezzella was red-carded, means all the four African teams are out of the competition. South Africa and Guinea earlier failed to go past the group stage while Senegal only got to the Round of 16.

Sadly, Junior Chipolopolo were only six minutes away from the semifinal berth, but they apparently lost concentration and the resilient Italians prevailed in the end.

Zambia made a promising start when Paston Daka found the net after only four minutes.

Then Zambia thought they had won a penalty in the 43rd minute when Edward Chilufya stumbled and fell in the penalty box after being tackled by Pezzella. However, the video assistant referee indicated the foul was committed outside the box. Pezzella, who committed the foul, was sent off, but Zambia blasted the subsequent free kick off target.

The Italians came into the second half a renewed side and Riccardo Orsolini equalised in the 50th minute.

The Zambian pulled themselves together and found the net in the 84th minute through Fashion Sakala. However, that lead lasted for only four minutes as a perfect free kick taken by Federici Dimarco pulled the Italians level and pushed the match into extra time.

Luca Vido's header in the 111st minute sent the Zambians out.
-0- PANA MA 5June2017

05 june 2017 10:59:15

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