U-19 Napoli Primavera Triumph over Genoa Primavera on Opening Match Day

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    Mark Manganiello
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    The Azzurrini made their mark on Saturday September 9th at the Centro Sportivo di Sant’ Antimo as they kicked off the 2017-18 season with a hard fought battle winning 2-1 against a solid Genoa side. Both teams played with an exciting attacking 4-3-3 formation. The first half was a balanced one as both sides had their turns creating offensive chances. Napoli forward Alessio Zerbin, initiated the first attacking play of the match by controlling the ball of his chest from a right sided cross but volleyed just wide of net. Genoa responded with a glorious chance in front of goal by left midfielder Nermin Karic receiving a low cross from the left flank but Napoli keeper Maurizio Schaeper made a great save rapidly turning it away. Shortly after, the Azzurrini’s closest chance came from the promising Brazilian youngster Leandrinho, who put in a beautiful cross that linked up with Zerbin who headed the ball just wide over the crossbar. Despite the exciting offensive action from both teams, the first half ended goalless.
    The second half started with Napoli coach Giampaolo Saurini making a couple of tactical substitutions that added some fresh new legs opting to rest his key players in the wake of their difficult Champions League away fixture against Shakhtar’s youth team. Napoli midfielder Gianluca Gaetano came off for Alberto Senese, Salvatore Micillo replaced left striker Francesco Mezzoni and Ciro Palmieri replaced centre forward Leandrinho. In the 55th minute Genoa forward Luca Zanimacchia, made a n explosive darting run up the left flank exploiting Napoli’s defense putting in a deadly cross into the feet of center forward Levente Szabo but could not find the back of the net. The Azzurrini drew first blood in the 64th minute off a cross from a free kick by defensive midfielder Umberto Otranto that was perfectly placed on the right foot of Palmieri and cleverly volleyed into the bottom right corner. In the 70th minute, Palmieri scored once again with an outstanding long range strike into the top left corner leaving Genoa goalkeeper Rollandi without a chance to stop it. However, in the 84th minute Genoa spoiled Schaeper’s clean sheet with a tap in goal off a corner kick by defender Giorgio Altare who took advantage from a scrambling Napoli defense. The Azzurrini battled hard to keep the lead and secured an important three points to start their campionato on home field. Palmieri put on an excellent offensive performance and is certainly the man of the match.
    Their next matchup is on Saturday September 16th @ 11:00 am (5:00am EST) against a strong Chievo side that beat Lazio away 1-0. It will interesting to see if the Napoli Primavera can continue this fantastic early run especially with their impressive 2-1 victory in Ukraine over Shakhtar on Wednesday.

    Starting Lineups
    Napoli (coach: Giampaolo Saurini) (4-3-3)
    – Schaeper (GK)
    – Scarf (LB) Esposito (CB) Manzi (CB) Schiavi (RB)
    – Gaetano (LM) Otranto (CDM) Basit (RM)
    – Zerbin (LS) Leandrinho (CF) Mezzoni (RS)

    Genoa (coach: Carlo Sabatini) (4-3-3)
    – Rollandi (GK)
    – Oprut (LB) Altare (CB) Zanoli (CB) Tazzer (RB)
    – Bruzzo (RM) Sibilia (CDM) Karic (LM)
    – Micovschi (LS) Szabo (CF) Zanimaccia (RS)

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