Atalanta and AC Milan will be facing each other on Tuesday March 12th (18.00 h, live on Raisport and PMG Sport) at the Municipal Stadium in Via Pomerio, Arco (Garda Trentino), looking to claim the 48th Trofeo Beppe Viola crown. Both among the favorite teams for the event, Atalanta and AC Milan won the pass to the final act on Sunday March 10th, defeating – respectively – Parma by 6-5 at the penalty kicks (1-1 after 80 minutes), and Chievo by 2-0.
The 48th edition of Trofeo Beppe Viola will be played between two multi-winning teams: AC Milan has won six editions, Atalanta succeeded five times – all of them most recent than Milan’s final one, in 2004. In that year, the Milan side also featured the late Davide Astori. The Rossoneri hope to make a special dedication to the unlucky Fiorentina captain, suddenly passed away in March 2018.
ATALANTA – PARMA 6-5 after penalties (1-1 in regular time)
SURPRISING PARMA ONLY SURRENDERS AT PENALTIES
Atalanta was the first team to win a spot in 48th Trofeo Beppe Viola’s final, to be held on Tuesday March 12th at the Via Pomerio stadium in Arco. The Bergamo’ team beat Parma 6-5 at the penalty kicks, after an entertaining and eventful clash had ended with a 1-1 tie. Atalanta held the reins of the game for long, but Parma never gave up, getting as close as 11 meters to a memorable qualification to the final against one of the top favorites of the Tournament.
In a sunny afternoon, Atalanta was more proactive in the early race, with Parma mostly attentive on defense and eager to counterattack. During the 1st half Atalanta kept gaining ground but did not actually threaten Rinaldi’s goal until minute 39th, when Reda’s header turned a Panada’s cross into the 1-0 goal. One minute later, Reda was dangerous again on a launch from the midfield, slightly too long to beat Rinaldi.
The start of the second half was evenly contested again, but Parma moved Napoletano on the strikers’ line, and that created some issues to the Atalanta rearguard. At minute 54, Cittadini possibly handed a Parma’s cross in the box – but the referee opted not to give the penalty. He had no choice, though, three minutes later, when the defender tripped Napolitano on the left of the goal. Parma’s captain Casarini did not waste the penalty kick, tying the game 1-1.
At minute 63, Atalanta’s goal was threatened again by a lob header by Napoletano on Spaccaferro’s assist, but at 69’ it was Atalanta’s Vorlicky who missed an incredible chance, dribbling the goalie but stumbling just a few centimeters from the goal line, giving Parma a chance to clear. On the following corner, Derbali missed an inviting header just by the goal.
A right-foot shot by Trezza (72’) after a counterattack was the last opportunity of the regular time. In the penalty kicks, captains Panada and Casarini missed their opportunities, but then the two teams were impeccable until Bocchialini’ conclusion was neutralized by Pisoni.
“It was an entertaining game” told Atalanta’s Manager Giovanni Bosi, “we have failed several occasions, and Parma did well in creating opportunities all over the game. In the youth team as well as in the first, Atalanta looks to impose its game and that’s what we’ll try to do also in Tuesday’s final.”
Few regrets for a solid Parma side: “We are happy with our tournament,” told Manager Claudio Gabetta, “we were defeated by a stronger team, both technically and physically, but we did very good, and came just 11 meters away from a great feat. I can only congratulate my team.”
AC MILAN – CHIEVOVERONA 2-0
ROSSONERI HUNT FOR SUCCESS 15 YEARS LATER
Milan used cynicism to join Atalanta in the 48th Trofeo Beppe Viola final. The team managed by Christian Terni saw off Chievoverona by 2-0 at the end of an intense and even contest, in which the better team in exploiting the mistakes of the opposition came out on top on Via Pomerio’s pitch.
In the first half, the two teams were challenged by the strong wind, and closed the fraction with one goal opportunity each. Chievo’s Grazioli used a long-distance attempt to threaten Molari’s goal at 26’, whilst a header by Milan’s Capone was disarmed by Chievo’s difense at minute 35.
The second half mirrored the same plot at the beginning, but after Chievo’s difence saved on new-entry Luscietti’s short-distance attempt, Robotti scored at minute 53 at the end of a confused action in the box, with a shot deflected by Chievo’s defender Bonini. Shortly after (57’), an ill-timed coming out of Milan’s goalkeeper Moleri offered a big opportunity to Vesentini, who failed to seize it.
Chievo tried to raise the pressure in the final 15 minutes: Merci wasted a huge opportunity, sending the ball over the bar just from in front of the net, and at minute 75 the post denied the equalizer to Bontempi. It was the last real chance for the Verona’s team, that went down by two at minute 80, when Luscietti broke clear from the offside line and easily beat Malaguti. Chievo’s Merci was ejected in the injury time.
“It was hard,” Milan’s Manager Christian Terni told, “Chievo is a good and well-organized team, and it makes it difficult for any opponent to play. Our performance in the tournament has already exceeded our expectations, but it’s not time to celebrate yet. Let’s hope to do it on Tuesday night.”
JUNIOR WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT: SAN MARINO AND NAPOLI REACH FINALS
The Semifinals of the Junior Women’s Trofeo Città di Arco were also played on Sunday March 10th. Tomorrow, March 11th, San Marino Academy and Napoli Femminile will contend the title in the final (14.30 at the Via Pomerio Stadium). San Marino beat Permac Vittorio Veneto by 3-1, whilst Napoli saw off FCD Pinerolo, 4-1.
The “Pulcini” age group tournament also came to a close on Sunday with the non-competitive triangular among Baldo Junior Team, Calisio and USD Arco 1895 home team.
“CALCERO’”: A THINK-TANK ON YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PERSPECTIVES IN SPORTS
A now-traditional fixture of the Trofeo Beppe Viola in the penultimate day of the event, the “Calcerò” think-tank on youth football will be back tomorrow – Monday March 11th at 19.30 at the Arco Casino. In 2019, the Trofeo Beppe Viola also received the prestigious patronage of the Italian Footballers Association, that is bringing insightful and important contents into the event.
“Becoming a footballer: a dream, not an obsession” will be the theme of this year’s “Calcerò”. Taking part in the event will be Italian Footballers Association’s President Damiano Tommasi, Italy’s National Youth Teams responsible Maurizio Viscidi, Internazional Sports Agent Andrea Pretti and Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Guglielmo Longhi.