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Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Italy tame Young Lions

England's nine-match winning streak was brought to a controversial end as Italy capitalised on the confusion surrounding Craig Dawson's disallowed goal to win their European Under-21 Championship opener 1-0.

• Henderson baffled by ref

Having held the impressive Azzurrini at bay in the first half, the West Brom centre-back looked to have nodded the Young Lions ahead four minutes after the restart of the Group A clash in Tel Aviv.

England players ran off in celebration, the announcer gave the goal and even put Dawson's face on the Bloomfield Stadium scoreboard - only for referee Antony Gautier to chalk the header off to mass confusion. An apparent push by Steven Caulker in the build-up looked to be behind the decision that left Stuart Pearce's side flabbergasted.

It was not Gautier's only contentious decision of the night. He waved away first-half penalty appeals from Alessandro Florenzi, before appearing to inexplicably change his mind on a spot-kick with less than 15 minutes remaining.

The Frenchman eventually adjudged Nathaniel Clyne's foul on substitute Manolo Gabbiadini to be outside the box, but Italy's frustration soon turned to joy. Lorenzo Insigne, the Azzurrini's best player, struck home the resulting free-kick to secure a 1-0 victory and end England's record unbeaten streak and run of 889 minutes without conceding.

Earlier, hosts Israel were denied by an injury-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw with ten-man Norway.

Harmeet Singh found the bottom corner from outside the area in the 91st minute to ensure his side took a share of the spoils.

The teams had been level at half-time, with Israel taking the lead through their captain, Nir Biton, who converted a 16th-minute penalty, before Marcus Pedersen hit back for Tor Ole Skullerud's side.

However, Vegar Hedenstad was shown the red card before the break, and the hosts looked to have clinched victory at the Netanya Stadium when substitute Alon Turgeman struck in the 71st minute, but Singh was to have the final word.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report




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