Watford midfielder Cristian Battocchio was unable to help Italy's Under-21s avoid a 2-1 defeat against Romania Under-21s

Battocchio unable to help Azzurrini avoid a surprise defeat. Picture: Action Images

Battocchio unable to help Azzurrini avoid a surprise defeat. Picture: Action Images

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Cristian Battocchio played 90 minutes for Italy’s Under-21 side last night but the Hornets midfielder was unable to help the Azzurrini avoid a surprise 2-1 defeat against Romania Under-21s.

The friendly match was a chance for Italy to prepare for their vital European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Serbia and Cyprus in September but the visitors produced a poor display.

Federico Bernardeschi and Cristiano Biraghi had opportunities for the Azzurrini but slack marking at a corner allowed George Puscas to head past Francesco Bardi.

Battocchio then forced a save but Italy’s poor defending at set-pieces again proved costly when Mihai Balasa nodded in a second.

Danilo Cataldi curled home a free kick in first half stoppage time to reduce the deficit but Italy couldn’t improve in the second period and were beaten.

Romania Under-21s: Buzbuchi; Balasa (Popadiuc 66), Tiru, Boldor, Filip (Tosca 76); Iancu (Putanu 81), Cretu, Nedelcu (Serban 66), Rotariu (Bumba 66); Mitrita (Tanase 46); Puscas (Ivan 73)

Italy Under-21s: Bardi; Zappacosta (Sabelli 65), Bianchetti (Romagnoli 78), Antei (Rugani 46), Biraghi (Dezi 78); Cataldi (Viviani 65), Crisetig (Benassi 65); Bernardeschi (Longo 46), Berardi, Battocchio; Belotti (Trotta 78)

Comments (2)

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10:48am Thu 14 Aug 14

Poppet Bear says...

Brilliant experience for the lad, as long as he hasn't got injured, no problem.
Brilliant experience for the lad, as long as he hasn't got injured, no problem. Poppet Bear
  • Score: 1

4:22pm Thu 14 Aug 14

croxley46 says...

I see Rumania's 1st goalscorer was G. Puscas - any relation to the great Hungarian Ferenc Puscas who played with Di Stefano and Gento for Real Madrid in the 50's and 60's?
I see Rumania's 1st goalscorer was G. Puscas - any relation to the great Hungarian Ferenc Puscas who played with Di Stefano and Gento for Real Madrid in the 50's and 60's? croxley46
  • Score: 3

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