UNDER-17S: INTER 1-0 EMPOLI, SCUDETTO!

Obi scores as Nerazzurri win final of Allievi Nazionali championship playoffs

CITTA' DI CASTELLO (Perugia) - Campioni d'Italia!!! Nigeria-born striker Joel Chukwuma Obi smashed home a curling shot early in the second half as Inter's Under-17 side beat Empoli to win the Allievi Nazionali Scudetto.

Empoli made a strong start at the Stadio Bernicchi and Fabio Rosati went close to an early goal, but Daniele Bernazzani's talented team held firm and their first chance fell to the feet of Swedish midfielder Sebastian Carlsen.

The Nerazzurri gained control at the Stadio Bernicchi and support striker Luca Tremolada tested Empoli keeper Addario before Obi narrowly missed with a cross-shot.

Empoli matched Inter in terms of possession in an evenly-balanced opening half and went close through Manuel Pucciarelli on 24 minutes.

But Marco Ezio Fossati, the youngest player in Inter's Under-17 squad, was solid in midfield and Bernazzani's boys had another chance, Sesay almost scoring from Obi's long throw-in.

Inter made the perfect start to the second half when Obi's magnificent left-foot strike flew in via a slight deflection after Final Eight top scorer Mattia Destro's effort from a corner came back off the crossbar.

Captain Luca Caldirola could have added a quick second but his curling free kick went just over.

In clear disarray, Fabrizio Del Rosso's team struggled to recover as Inter continued to churn out chances, the best of which fell to Sesay who shaved the angle between bar and post in the last minute.

Inter's Under-17 team lost just one game during the regular season, winning 21 and drawing 2 to reach the playoffs as winners of their division. In their Final Eight group Bernazzani's team drew against Brescia after wins over AC Milan and Atalanta to reach the final.

Campionato Allievi Nazionali playoffs - final
Inter 1-0 Empoli (HT: 0-0, 40 minutes each way)

Scorer: Joel Chukwuma Obi 43'.


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