Atalanta is back on the Beppe Viola throne. Two years after back-to-back successes in 2016-2017, the Bergamo’s team reclaimed the crown at the 48th Trofeo Beppe Viola, beating AC Milan at Arco’s Municipal Stadium in Via Pomerio, on Tuesday March 12th, 2019.
The prestigious Under 17 International Tournament in Arco rewarded the only team to always win over five days of play (three in the groups phase, one each for semifinals and finals), even though the team managed by Giovanni Bosi needed the penalty kicks to advance in both the elimination rounds: in the Semifinals against Parma, and in the finals against AC Milan, whose side had led the match for much of its extent.
Christian Terni’s AC Milan suffered a more than honorable defeat, after showing good organizational and character skills all over the Arco’s Tournament. After Signorile’s goal at minute 18th, the Rossoneri had dreamt of proving predictions wrong, and reclaiming the “Beppe Viola” title 15 years later.
Atalanta is now tied with Milan with six successes at Trofeo Beppe Viola – all of them in the last 13 years – pursuing only Juventus with 7.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
After an even opening, Atalanta had a first important opportunity at minute 8 with Reda, who failed the chance of bringing his team ahead with the goal empty after Moleri’s untimely intervention.
The risk propelled AC Milan’s reaction, that led to the first goal of the match at minute 19: a fast counterattack on the left was conducted by Falzoni, who crossed for Signorile, whose header found the corner of the net behind Pisoni.
After a goal by Atalanta’s Sidibe was ruled out due to offside at minute 29, the Bergamo’s team tried to push over the final 10 minutes of the first half time, but the score remained 1-0.
Atalanta kept holding the reins of the game, with Vorlicky showing flashes of pure class, but sometimes proving too stubborn in dribbling. When Atalanta’s chances seemed to falter, Vorlicky equalled the score at minute 76, with a lob shot that punished AC Milan Goalkeeper Moleri’s misplacement. Regular time ended on 1-1, and 20 minutes of overtime weren’t enough to break the tie between two tired teams.
At the final penalties, after errors by Faye (Atalanta) and Stanga (AC Milan), Atalanta’s Manfredi scored and Rossoneri’s Grassi missed the decisive conclusion, leaving way to the Atalanta celebration.
Atalanta’s Lukas Vorlicky was named Best Player of the Tournament, whilst AC Milan’s Andrea Capone – absent on the day as Atalanta’s Ruggeri and Panada due to the selection of Italy’s National Team – was the top scorer with four goals.
Giovanni Bosi (Atalanta Manager): “I think it was a beautiful and entertaining game. We remained focus and determined until the end against a solid AC Milan side. Winning at penalties leaves a slightly bitter taste, but we’ll take it. Both teams deserve credit for their displays.”
Christian Terni (Milan Manager): “I am very satisfied, as our guys gave everything. We probably deserved this win more than our rivals, for what we managed to do against a very strong team,, and because we had reached the final always on field and without penalties. Sadly, good luck wasn’t on our side.”
Lukas Vorlicky (Atalanta, Tournament’s Best Player): “We are very happy, that’s a great win for our team. Let’s hope to keep on like this also in the Italian league. In the action of the goal, I kicked the ball the only way I could, it wasn’t easy but it worked out.”
THE SATISFACTION OF PRESIDENT BENEDETTI
OC President Marco Benedetti sounded his satisfaction for the Tournament: “In spite of some struggles, starting with the forfeit of the African teams, the Trofeo Beppe Viola came to a close with a beautiful final that showed all the value and prestige of this tournament, further enriched by the collaboration with the Italian Footballers Association. As our 50th anniversary approaches, we need to discuss about our date with the Italian Federation, as this is a key issue to further establish the event, and make it grow even more.”