PARMA - Inter’s Under-19 side’s dreams of securing a third successive league title ended six minutes from the end during the Scudetto final on Friday. A goal from 19-year-old Ebrima Colley proved decisive against Armando Madonna’s side, with Atalanta winning 1-0 to secure a third Primavera title. Previous victories came in 1993 and 1998.
The Nerazzurri youngsters were just lacking a bit of luck at the Stadio Tardini, notably with Esposito hitting the post in the 75th minute when the scoreline was still tied at 0-0. Regardless, we can’t take anything away from our Primavera side – whose performance this season once again demonstrated the great work achieved by the Nerazzurri’s Elite Academy.
Tensions and tactics encapsulated the encounter, with teams playing with nerves and hesitancy. It was a final of typical characteristics, yet one dictated early on by Madonna’s side. You could sense the Nerazzurri’s ambition right from the off, with their first chance coming in the second minute. This was then followed by further chances for both teams, with Pompetti and Corrado shining for Inter, while Atalanta were led by Kulusevski in midfield, as well as Ta Bi and Peli on the flanks.
Inter certainly had their opportunities. Schirò fired just the wrong side of the post eight minutes in. Then, Pomeptti forced Ndiaye into action with a great save. 20 minutes in, the Nerazzurri came up with a great team move as Corrado found space on the left and played a delicate cross to Gavioli who just failed to get his head on it. The Atalanta goalkeeper was called into action for another save in the 38th minute from a Salcedo strike along the ground. Despite Inter’s pressure, the biggest chance was for Atalanta. In the 44th minute, Heidenrech got his head to the ball and seemed to score before Dekic pulled off a magnificent save to put it behind for a corner.
Atalanta looked more dangerous in the second half but the match continued to be lit up only by the odd individual play as fatigue and nerves conditioned the play. Inter were defending well and Rizzo especially, he had a chance of his own in the 62nd minute before desperately sliding in to charge down Piccoli in the 70th minute. Esposito came on for Salcedo and brought new energy to the Inter attack and he hit the post in the 75th minute. The match opened up as the sides inevitably became stretched. That allowed the Atalanta substitute Colley to get away from Nolan and score the winning goal. Kulusevski drove forward into space, fed the ball to Colley who picked out the far corner. It proved to be the winner despite the attempts to react from Madonna’s players and they couldn’t come up with an equaliser. Atalanta won the match and take the crown of Champions of Italy at U19 level.
ATALANTA 1-0 INTER
Goalscorers: 84' Colley
ATALANTA: 1 Ndiaye, 5 Okoli Memeh, 7 Peli (91' Traore 15), 9 Piccoli (91' Gyabuaa 21), 10 Kulusevski, 11 Cambiaghi (65' Colley 19), 16 Brogni, 18 Heidenreich, 20 Da Riva, 23 Zortea (C), 26 Ta Bi
Substitutes: 1 Nozza Bielli, 2 Bergonzi, 3 Girgi, 6 Guth, 13 Louka, 17 Ghislandi, 24 Cortinovis, 25 Kraja, 27 Pina Gomes
Coach: Massimo Brambilla
INTER: 1 Dekic; 22 Zappa, 4 Nolan (C) (85' Merola 10), 6 Rizzo; 7 Persyn (59' Grassini 2), 8 Gavioli, 5 Pompetti, 14 Schirò, 3 Corrado; 11 Salcedo (71' Esposito 20), 18 Colidio
Substitutes: 12 Pozzer, 21 Stankovic, 13 Van Den Eynden, 16 Ntube, 17 Attys, 23 Mulattieri, 24 Roric, 26 Gianelli, 27 Pirola
Coach: Armando Madonna
Bookings: 15' Piccoli (A), 85' Colley (A)
Added time: 0', 5'
Referee: Matteo Marchetti (Ostia Lido)
Assistants: Palermo (Bari), Dell'Università (Bari)