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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 18:34 GMT
Borriello sinks England U21s
England Under-21 international Shaun Wright-Phillips
Wright-Phillips' shot ended up for a throw-in
Italy Under-21s 1-0 England Under-21s

England Under-21 coach David Platt's hope of building solid foundations for next month's European Championship qualifiers crumbled in the marble capital of the world.

After taking maximum points from their opening two group matches against Slovakia and Macedonia, England were undone by a 75th minute header from Empoli striker Marco Borriello in Carrara.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision to field an experimental second-half side in Wednesday's friendly against Australia saw Platt draft in several new faces.

Blackburn's James McEveley, Ipswich duo Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent, Bolton's Kevin Nolan and Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant all made their debuts.

For the first hour Platt's inexperienced side comfortably held their own, though they also failed to test goalkeeper Marco Amelia at any stage.

Their one meaningful chance arose in the 36th minute when Shola Ameobi's ball out wide to Bobby Zamora led to a superb far-post cross from the Brighton striker.

However, the arriving Shaun Wright-Phillips struck a first-time right-foot shot which eventually ended up for a throw-in.

Moments later Matthew Murray was called upon as he superbly denied Giuseppe Sculli on the half volley from 12 yards, with the ball falling to former Chelsea star Sam dalla Bona, now with AC Milan following a 1m move.

But with an open goal at his mercy he spooned the rebound over the bar.

Italy were the better side after the break as Platt and counterpart, the legendary Claudio Gentile, made several changes apiece, with Grant the first of those as he took over from Murray in net.

After Giampiero Pinzi had rifled over the bar, he followed that up with a searing drive two minutes later, only for Grant to equal the save of Murray in the first half, deflecting the ball over the bar.

But he was beaten 15 minutes from time when Borriello guided a Sculli cross into the bottom corner.


Italy U21: Amelia, Bonera, Cannavaro, Moretti, Zaccardo, Brighi, Dalla Bona, Donati, Pinzi, Borriello, Sculli.
Subs: Agliardi, Ferri, Lanzaro, Pasquale, Gasbarroni, Gatti, Lavecchia, Palombo, Zanetti, Caraccioli, D'Agostino.

England U21: Murray, Samuel, Dawson, Clarke, Taylor, Wright-Phillips, Prutton, Carrick, Barry, Ameobi, Zamora.
Subs: Grant, McEveley, Nolan, Lescott, Ambrose, Bent.

Referee: Joaquim Paraty Da Silva (Portugal).

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