There was a meeting of Chelsea players at the Under-20 World Cup on Sunday night and it was Cesare Casadei who shone to help Italy get the better of Andrey Santos’s Brazil.
Both players captained their respective countries, and it was Casadei who emerged with the bragging rights as he assisted one goal and scored two more before half-time as Italy raced into a three-goal lead. Brazil got two back late on, but it was not enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat.
The Italians were up and running in the 11th minute when Casadei won the first header from a left-wing cross which he flicked on to Matteo Prati to half-volley into the roof of the net.
A quarter-of-an-hour later, Casadei made it two. Again his aerial prowess was too much for the Brazilians to handle as he won the first contact from a corner and then nodded the bouncing ball into the unguarded net.
Casadei was not done there. With 33 minutes played, he glided past the Brazil right-back who could only drag him to the ground. It was a clear penalty, one Casadei confidently converted to the keeper’s left.
A brace from Marcos Leonardo in the final 20 minutes of the contest kept Brazil interested until the end but there was to be no dramatic comeback so they will target their first points of the tournament when they play Dominican Republic on Wednesday. Italy meet Nigeria.
Today it is England’s turn to start their group stage campaign with a game against Tunisia in La Plata, on Argentina’s north-east coast.