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USA win in extremis

After an intense game, the USA beat Italy 2:1 after extra time and keep their clean sheet. Italy earns an important first point. 

The starting positions of the two teams could not have been more different. While the USA were still unbeaten in the tournament, Italy were waiting for their first point and recently suffered a 9:1 crushing defeat against the Czech Republic. In an initial period with attractive transition plays, the USA started the game with a slight advantage on the field. However, the Italians also tested US keeper Carter in the early stages, got into the game better and better and were closer to the first goal. The USA were also lucky, as the Italians hit twice the post in the space of a few seconds after just over 18 minutes. 

Although goals were lacking, the numerous enthusiastic young spectators assisted an attractive and hard-fought game. The knot only burst in the 33rd minute: Jordan Albright scored alone in front of the opposing goalkeeper after a quick counter-attack. Italy reacted immediately and pressed vehemently for the equalizer. After a goal was cancelled out, the enthusiastically celebrated equalizer was finally scored: Fontana, who had been forgotten in the slot, scored four minutes before the end. In extra time, the USA secured the extra point through Melillo just seconds before the end. 

The USA continue their campaign on Tuesday against runners-up Czech Republic. Italy will also face Switzerland on Tuesday, with the direct quarter-final qualification between these two teams at stake.


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