Croatia has opened its UEFA Under-17 Championship campaign with a 0-1 loss to Italy in Rijeka on Wednesday.
From 3 – 19 May Croatia is hosting the best Under-17 teams in Europe, and today the hosts faced the Italians in sunny Rijeka.
After a goalless first half, where Croatia outplayed Italy in patches, the deadlock was finally broken in the 78th minute when Italy striker Kean fired into the right corner from just inside the box.
Both sides had their goalkeepers to thank for the scoreline not being different, with Kotarski and Ghidotti making some fine saves throughout the match.
Whilst Italy had more possession in the match, they were unable to convert their chances thanks mainly to Kotarski and the resolute Croatian defence. Croatia is now in a position where they must win their next match.
Croatia is now in a position where they must win their next match.
Croatia 0 – 1 Italy
Goals: Kean 78′
Croatia: Kotarski, Hlevnjak, Čolina, Nekić, Radić, Franjić, Kreković (Mitrović), Hanuljak, Marin (Baturina), Pršir (Krizmanić), Šego
Italy: Ghidotti, Campeol, Rizzo Pinna (Biancu), Anzolin, Bettella, Visconti, Caligara, Kean, Merola, Candela Bellodi), Portanova
Croatia will face Turkey next on Saturday 6 May again in Rijeka, then Spain next Tuesday in their final group match.
Matches in the tournament will be played in Rijeka, Kostrena, Zaprešić, Lučko, Velika Gorica, Sesvete and Varaždin. Eurosport will show at least 15 matches. The final will be played in Varaždin.
In other results on the opening day Hungary beat France 3-2, Spain beat Turkey 3-2, whilst Scotland beat the Faroe Island 2-0.
Group A: Croatia, Spain, Turkey, Italy
Group B: Scotland, France, Hungary, Faroe Islands
Group C: Germany, Republic of Ireland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group D: The Netherlands, England, Norway, Ukraine