- Italy top Ecuador 1-0 in Vitoria
- Gaetano Oristanio’s free-kick goal from 35 yards silences La Tri
- Gli Azzurrini next face Brazil in quarter-finals
Substitute Gaetano Oristanio’s swerving free-kick goal in the 76th minute pushed Italy past Ecuador 1-0 in Round of 16 action on Thursday at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™. Italy’s No20 lined up from 35 yards and imparted significant left-to-right movement on the ball, confounding goalkeeper Joan Lopez as the shot settled in the back of the net. The Italians’ triumph sets up a meeting with hosts Brazil in the quarter-finals on 11 November at Goiania’s Estadio Olimpico.
It was an even match-up overall, though Italy enjoyed the better chances in the first half due in large part to some defensive lapses from their opponents. Ecuadorian defender Hanssel Delgado twice lost possession playing out of his own penalty area, and the first time Nicolo Cudrig forced a close-range save out of the Ecuadorian goalkeeper. Degnand Gnonto intercepted a botched pass from Lopez in the 40th minute and fired on an open net from 40 yards, but his shot skidded wide right. Finally Gli Azzurrini found their second-half hero in Oristanio, whose free-kick thoroughly vexed the goalkeeper.
The tie turned completely in a span of two minutes for La Tri. When Italy defender Matteo Ruggeri appeared to drag down Roberto Cabezas in the box, Ecuador were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute. The call on the field came under VAR review, however, and was overturned. The South Americans conceded seconds later, reversing what was otherwise a superior second half. Ecuador come up short in their bid for a quarter-finals berth.
Italy-Brazil (Olímpico Goiania, 20:00 local time)