Italy overcame ten-man Ecuador 1-0 to ensure their qualification to the next round at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. It was an absorbing and incident-heavy contest in front a full Bydgoszcz crowd.
Azzurri captain Andrea Pinamonti scored the lone goal in the 15th minute with a piece of technical skill, guiding in a half-volley with his right foot after Gianluca Scamacca teed him up perfectly with a cushioned header. Luca Pellegrini provided the initial service with a high, lofted cross.
The match took a turn when towering Ecuador centre-back Jackson Porozo was shown a straight red card following a high and late challenge on Alessandro Tripaldelli.
Ecuador had a golden opportunity to level matters after Jose Cifuentes had his shirt pulled by Enrico Del Prato. The referee awarded the penalty following a VAR review, but Leonardo Campana had his attempt saved by Alessandro Plizzari seconds before half-time.
Jorge Celico’s side ultimately could not find their way past a superb performance from the Italian defence, namely Plizzari.
Next up (Wednesday)
Ecuador-Mexico (18:00 local time)
Italy-Japan (18:00 local time)