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U-20 World Cup: Zambia Edged Out by Ten-Man Italy in the Quarter Final

Zambia was beaten 3-2 by ten-man Italy after extra-time in a thrilling encounter which ended its hopes of progressing to the World Cup semifinal stage.

Patson Daka opened the scoring in the first four minutes after a perfectly timed through pass from Banda found him which he chipped past Andrea Zaccagno.

Italy responded with attack after another but failed to find the equalizer in the first half and things subsequently got frustrating when Giuseppe Pezzelle received a straight red card for a shove on Edward Chilufya, right before half time.

The penalty awarded to Zambia was changed to a free kick after a video review but Pezella nevertheless, still went into the book with a straight red card for a foul on goal-bound Chilufya.

The Italians had to recover from a goal and a man down in the second half to score the equalizer within five minutes through Riccardo Orsolini who scored his fourth of the tournament, after guiding home a header from the back post following a cross by Giuseppe Panico

Fashion Sakala then scored Zambia’s second and his fourth of the tournament in the 84th minute with a well-placed strike into the top corner from 12 yards but the young Chipolopolo’s celebration was cut short by substitute Federico Dimarco, who curled a superb free-kick inside Zambia’s net sending the match into extra-time.

Zambia responded well in extra-time but failed to convert the chances created. Kenneth Kalunga came close but sent the ball wide after skillfully juggling the ball past Italy’s defense but Italian keeper Andrea Zaccagno, made a crucial stop.

With penalties looming, another substitute, Luca Vido, “twisted the dagger” and this time got the winner for Italy, heading in the decisive goal from a Dimarco corner in the 111th minute.

The Italians will now face England in the U-20 World Cup semi-finals for the first time after the latter beat Mexico 1-0 in the second semi-finals showdown.



Co-author: Viktor Akatwijuka

Featured photo: APS Images

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