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11 July 2013 | in Football, Summer Universiade

Emotions flow as Italian Football Team knocked out


Italy’s Andrea Settembrini is left frustrated on the stands

KAZAN - In sport, there are always winners and losers. And Andrea Settembrini hates losing.

But when your team wins the game, and that victory is still not enough to progress through the group stage, losing becomes a particularly bitter pill to swallow. And when you are watching your team from the sidelines, helpless in their battle for victory, that pain is excruciating.

Settembrini was forced to sit out Italy’s must-win encounter against Great Britain after picking up a red card in the Italians’ shocking 2-0 loss to Malaysia in their opening football match of the 2013 Summer Universiade.

“It was a difficult game. We received two red cards and missed two penalties. We attacked for the entire second half but could not get a goal,” the midfielder, who hails from Perugia, bemoaned.

He now sits on the stands with his hands in his face, the agony almost unbearable as he watches his side launch yet another attack as they try break down the British defense.

“It hit his hand! It hit his hand!” Settembrini shouts at the referee, claiming a handball in the penalty box. Nothing given, and Great Britain clear the ball once more.

And then, a glimmer of hope. Federico Masi connected with a corner on 67 minutes to put Italy into the lead. However, another goal was needed in order to give Italy a chance to progress through, after their opening match loss and Britain’s 2-0 victory over Malaysia.

Italy’s Paolo Rizzo is inconsolable as his side is knocked out of the Summer Universiade in Kazan

Settembrini was now out of his chair, arms raised each time his team mates had possession. Another missed opportunity, and he slowly sits down again, biting his nails and gazing forlornly at the time on the scoreboard.

The final whistle blows. Italy had 27 shots at goal compared to Britain’s eight, and 54% possession, winning the game 1-0. But it was not enough, and Italy crash out in the group stages.

Settembrini is totally devastated as he leaves the stands to join his equally distraught team mates in the locker room.

Thus Great Britain and underdogs Malaysia progress through to the next round – a major upset, yet a clear indication of the more balanced and competitive nature of the teams in this year’s Summer Universiade.

 

Fabio De Dominicis/FISU Young Reporter (RSA)

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