Heartbreak for Italy, who dominated the Under-17 European Championship Final only to lose on penalties to Russia.
The Azzurrini had never reached the Final of this competition before, but dominated the first half against a solidly defensive Russia.
Within the opening five minutes both Demetrio Steffe and Alberto Cerri had gone very close, then Federico Dimarco and Cerri again tested the goalkeeper.
After the restart, Luca Vido had several shots parried, including a particularly dangerous curler flapped off the line on 52 minutes.
Andrea Palazzi also threatened, but Russia eventually came out of their shell and on 77 minutes Danila Buranov’s free kick beat Simone Scuffet to thump the upright.
At the end of the 80 minutes for this tournament, the Final was still deadlocked and went to a penalty shoot-out.
It started badly for Italy, as 16-year-old Davide Di Molfetta’s effort was saved. Giacomo Sciacca, Vladislav Parshikov and Aleksei Gasilin were also denied, so it went to sudden death.
Palazzi’s finish was weak and easily saved, so Sergei Makarov converted to give Russia the victory, 5-4 on penalties.
Italy 0-0 Russia
Russia win 5-4 on penalties
Italy U-17: Scuffet; Calabria, Capradossi, Sciacca, Dimarco; Tutino (Di Molfetta 67), Palazzi, Pugliese, Steffe (Parigini 81); Cerri, Vido (Bonazzoli 63)
Russia U-17: Mitryushkin; Parshikov, Likhachev, Khodzhaniyazov, Yakuba; Golovin (Buranov 62), S Makarov, Barinov; Zhemaletdinov (A Makarov 41), Sheydaev, Zuev (Gasilin 49)
Ref: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
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