Posts Tagged ‘Toulon’

Chile 0-1 Italy – Casiraghi’s U-23 Azzurrini Triumph in Toulon (Festival International Espoirs de Toulon FINAL)

Friday, May 30th, 2008

For the first time in the competition’s history, Italy‘s U-23 team has won the Toulon tournament (Festival International Espoirs de Toulon). The Azzurrini, who have succeeded to 4-time consecutive (and 11-time total) winners France as tourney champions, overcame their opponents Chile with a 70th minute goal by Fiorentina striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.

The Viola player has evidently taken the habit of scoring vital goals lately, and following his Champions-league-qualifying bicycle kick vs. Torino, his sliding strike propelled the Azzurrini to glory. What better morale booster for Casiraghi’s youngsters, in light of the upcoming Olympic games in August huh?

Chile FA (Federación de Fútbol de Chile)Italy FA (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio)

In spite of the water-drenched pitch (courtesy of Southern France’s heavy rain day), the majority of today’s game offensives were to the benefit of Italy. Italian manager Pierluigi Casiraghi had fielded his team in their traditional 4-3-2-1 formation, with the Sebastian Giovinco-Pablo Daniel Osvaldo tandem operating behind lone striker Graziano Pellè. The Azzurrini’s start of the match was sparkling: it only took 3 minutes for Osvaldo to arm his shot and while his first attempt was wide, the second one (minute 11) required the full reflexes of Chilean goalkeeper Cristopher Toselli to keep the ball out.

Meanwhile, this may have been a “friendly” tournament but the mood on the field suggested otherwise. Rough challenges, tackles, and mini-brawls became commonplace very early into the match, and Portuguese referee Sousa rapidly had to resort to using his yellow card. Before the half ended, Osvaldo had once again a try from distance but without any luck. 0-0 at the break.

In the second period, Chile immediately came knocking on Davide Bassi’s doorstep with a powerful Pedro Morales free-kick, but fortunately the Empoli keeper (who at the end of the match, also received the award for best goalkeeper of the tournament) was vigilant and parried away. Casiraghi then began playing the substitutions game (replacing Galloppa, Cigarini and Giovinco with Guarente, Dessena, and Abate), something which his colleague Marcelo Bielsa couldn’t really afford (the Chileans had only 4 players on the bench, due to various suspensions & injuries which made part of their roster unavailable). The newcomers had an almost immediate effect for the Azzurrini, Daniele Dessena in particular because the Parma midfielder provided the pinpoint through pass for Osvaldo, which the Viola striker slid diagonally into goal leaving Toselli rooted to the spot. 1-0 Italy with about 20 minutes to go.

Chile attempted to fight back, but the rainy conditions weren’t exactly helping their technique-oriented playing style. Fabián Orellana had a good chance shortly after Italy’s goal, but the biggest hair-pulling moment for the Chileans came deep into stoppage time, as Gonzalo Jara slammed a powerful long-range drive straight onto Bassi’s post and wide. Before that, Tiberio Guarente had nearly made it 2-0 for Italy following a counter-attack, as he attempted to chip the Chilean goalkeeper from 40 yards and hit the base of the post.

Eventually the referee called full time, thus giving Italy their first Toulon tournament win of their history. Let’s hope this will be a good omen for Euro 2008 and the Olympic games! (You can find more photos of the final here)


Federación de Fútbol de Chile CHILE-ITALY
[Match Highlights]
 Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio
GOALSCORERS: 70’ Osvaldo (I)
CHILE (3-3-1-3): Toselli – Caroca, Jara, Rebolledo (72’ Sagredo) – Fuenzalida, Meneses, Corvetto – Morales – Orellana, Lorca, Villanueva. (bench: Olivares, Martinez, Vargas). Coach: Bielsa.
ITALY (4-3-2-1): Bassi – Dellafiore, Coda, Bocchetti, De Silvestri – Nocerino, Cigarini (62’ Dessena), Galloppa (57’ Guarente) – Osvaldo, Giovinco (69’ Abate) – Pellè. (bench: Alfonso, Motta, Marzoratti, Marchisio, Candreva, Lanzafame). Coach: Casiraghi