Italy eliminate hosts to move into last eight

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Andrea Pinamonti’s cheeky penalty lifted Italy to a 1-0 win over Poland in Gdynia at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019, earning Gli Azzurri the first quarter-final spot on offer and eliminating the hosts.

The match-winner came in the 38th minute, as a result of Dominic Steczyk’s handball in the penalty area. Pinamonti pulled off a panenka, surprising Poland goalkeeper Radoslaw Majecki to give Italy a lead they would not relinquish

Poland weren’t without their chances, growing into the game and troubling the Italian defence on multiple occasions. In the 51st minute, the Biało-czerwoni forced an Italy turnover that ended up at the feet of midfielder Marcel Zylla, who found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Alessandro Plizzari. However, Zylla’s bouncing strike from close range deflected off Plizzari’s foot, squandering Poland’s best chance to equalise.

The hosts bow out of Poland 2019 in the Round of 16, their best finish at the U-20 World Cup since 2007, which was also the last time they qualified. Meanwhile Italy move ahead to face the winner of Argentina-Mali.