Italy opened the FIFA Under-20 World Cup with a bang, knocking off fellow Group B favorite Mexico, 2-1, in Gdynia, Poland.
It only took Italy three minutes to get on the board, as Davide Frattesi found a pocket of space in front of the El Tri backline and dribbled in on goal. The Sassuolo midfielder then decided to fire on goal from distance, hitting a rocket into the corner to give Italy a 1-0 lead.
Later in the first half Gianluca Scamacca also took a rip from outside the box, but his strike sailed just wide.
A defensive error on a corner kick gave Diego Lainez and Mexico life. In the 37th minute, AC Milan product Alessandro Plizzari committed a howler, coming out to punch away the curled corner kick. Plizzari missed the ball and it went right to the head of Roberto De La Rosa, who calmly made it 1-1.
El Tri however suffered a blow late in the match as Italy took back the lead. In the 67th minute, Luca Ranieri collected the ball on the edge of the six yard box and from a tight angle, he scored past Mexico goalkeeper Carlos Higuera.
For Mexico, it’s a rough way to start the World Cup, having to go against a perennial power in Italy and playing on European soil. Not all is lost for Mexico, but it has to rebound with a win in its next game against Japan.
Elsewhere, Colombia defeated host Poland, 2-0, Japan tied Ecuador 1-1, and Senegal beat Tahiti, 3-0.
Serie A side Cagliari will face no punishment for their fans’ racist abuse of Juventus youngster Moise Kean last month.
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The decision was announced by the league’s office on Tuesday, accompanied by a statement which read in part:
“It emerged the chants in question, although certainly reprehensible, had an objectively limited relevance to race.”
In other words, they were only a little racist; they weren’t racist enough.
The chants were present throughout the entirety of Juve’s 2-0 victory and only grew more intense after Kean scored his side’s second goal and celebrated defiantly, unwilling to be intimidated or silenced.
MILAN (AP) AC Milan defender Davide Calabria will miss the rest of the season because of a fractured bone in his left leg.
Calabria had to be substituted shortly before halftime in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Lazio in the Italian Cup semifinals.
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Milan says tests “have revealed a compound fracture of the left fibula.” The club adds that “a new scan is scheduled to take place in about a month.”
Milan has five matches left this season.
Calabria is also likely to miss the European under-21 championship, which takes place from June 16-30. He has made 15 appearances for Italy’s under-21 team.
ROME (AP) A video has emerged of Lazio fans directing a racist chant at AC Milan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The video posted on the Gazzetta dello Sport website shows fans singing, “This banana is for Bakayoko,” during Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico.
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It was an apparent response to Bakayoko and Milan teammate Franck Kessie waving the shirt of Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi in front of their supporters like a trophy after a 1-0 win on Saturday.
Bakayoko, who is black, is on loan from Chelsea.
Lazio fans have a long history of racist and anti-Semitic episodes.
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TURIN, Italy (AP) Another 60 weapon-carrying Ajax supporters have been stopped by Italian police, bringing the total to more than 100.
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The fans were stopped aboard buses on the outskirts of Turin shortly before Ajax’s Champions League match against Juventus on Tuesday.
A machete and three knives were among the weapons uncovered, as well as armored gloves, mouth guards and various types of fireworks.
Italian police stopped 54 weapon-carrying Ajax supporters on Monday and said they would be escorted out of the country.
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Ajax beat Juventus 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time since 1997. The first leg ended 1-1.
Police have been on high alert following clashes between Ajax and Juventus supporters ahead of the first leg in Amsterdam last week, when water cannons were used by authorities and dozens of fans were arrested.