UFWC Match #975
Lithuania 0-2 Italy
31st March 2021
LFF stadionas, Vilnius
(47′) 0-1 S. Sensi
(90+4′) 0-2 C. Immobile (penalty)
For the 2nd time after 2007 Lithuania appeared in a UFWC title match, for the 2nd time they lost by 0-2 versus Italy. For Italy winning by 2-0 seems to becoming a common habit as this was the 5th time in a row that La Squadra Azzurra is achieving this result. But this is only part of the story – Italy conquered the UFWC title from the Netherlands 7th September 2020 and successfully defended the crown for 9 matches since then – an new record for the team!
The match in Vilnius started off a bit more difficult for reigning champions Italy as expected, but might have been connected to the fact that manager Roberto Mancini applied several changes to the starting 11 when compared to the previous match versus Bulgaria in Sofia just 3 days before. Lithuania showed a lot of motivation to keep Italy’s offense away from their goal, which worked pretty well in the first 45 minutes.
The Azzurri returned to the pitch after the break with some steam and 2 fresh players, Federico Chiesa and Stefano Sensi. Sensi directly pays back the trust of his coach by scoring a wonderful goal in the 47th minute putting Italy into the lead. Even though Lithuania did not give up and showed a stable performance, including a good save from goalie Tomas Svedkauskas versus Immobile, Italy earned a last second penalty which was converted by Ciro Immobile into the 2-0 result so used to Italy in the latest matches.
Italy has now started perfect into the World Cup 2022 qualification campaign with 3 wins, Roberto Mancini equalized the record unbeaten series of Marcello Lippi (25 matches) and Italy has set a new record UFWC title series with 9 successful defences heading into the next match versus San Marino 28th May 2021 followed by another friendly versus Czech Republic 4th June 2021 before EURO2021 kicks off.
Match Summary on Youtube:
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