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FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2009

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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

[Euro U21] Group A Matchday 3 Review

Group A - Matchday 3
BELARUS 1-2 ITALY
Olympia Stadium, Helsingborg
Two goals from Robert Acquafresca secured Italy's place in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals against Germany, but despite dominating possession they were made to wait before seeing off a dogged Belarus 2-1 in Helsingborg. Belarus had stunned the five-time champions by taking the lead through Sergei Kislyak in the 45th minute only for the Azzurrini to hit back immediately through Acquafresca's penalty with the final kick of the first half. With the score at 1-1 and Sweden beating Serbia in the night's other match, Belarus could still have advanced with victory and it was not until the 75th minute that Acquafresca finally settled Azzurrini nerves with his second of the game to ensure they finished top of Group A. Things did not all go Italy's way, though. Claudio Marchisio was booked and will miss Friday's semi-final through suspension while Paolo De Ceglie is a doubt after being taken off in the first half with an ankle injury.


SERBIA 1-3 SWEDEN
Malmo New Stadium, Malmo
Sweden marched into the semi-finals after a convincing 3-1 victory against a Serbia team reduced to nine men by the dismissals of Nikola Petkovic and new Genoa signing Nenad Tomovic. The hosts powered into an early lead thanks to two-goal Marcus Berg, and though Gojko Kacar briefly reduced arrears, Ola Toivonen clinched the win after 29 minutes. The two sendings-off, coming either side of half-time, confirmed Serbia's fate. As a result the Swedes, requiring only a draw to advance, finished second in Group A to book a Gothenburg date with Group B winners England on Friday.

[Euro U21 Group A]

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