Football: U-21 team defeats Italy, moves closer to Tokyo Olympic Games

The Polish U-21 national football team defeated Italy 1:0 in a match of UEFA European U-21 Championship in Bologna, Italy.

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After a 3:2 victory over Belgium, Polish team coach Czesław Michniewicz announced that the line-up for the game with Italy will be modified. He decided to field a total of five defenders.

Italy, the team that won against Spain in the first match and the host of the tournament, started their attacks from the beginning of the game but were unsuccessful, also thanks to good performance of Polish defenders lead by Krystian Bielik and Mateusz Wieteska, as well as goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.

“Squadra Azzurra” dominated the match, but it was the Polish team that was able to put the ball in the net. In the 40th minute of the game, Poland’s striker Dawid Kownacki took a free kick, but the ball hit the wall and deflected. Nevertheless, Bielik managed to strike it with a volley kick. The ball hit the post but went into the net.

The second half was also dominated by Italian players, but they were unable to get past Polish goalie Grabara. Poland won the game and secured the first position in Group A of the tournament. In the second game of this group, Spain defeated Belgium 2:1.

The decisive Spain-Poland game will take place on Saturday at 9pm CEST. If Poland wins or draws the last game, it will move on to semi-finals and the Olympic qualification.

The last time a Polish football team played in the Olympic games was in Barcelona in 1992. Poland won the silver medal, having lost to Spain in the final at famous Camp Nou stadium.