The Allievi Nazionali put on a heroic performance in the semi-final against Parma but in the end emerged on the losing side of a seven-goal thriller after extra-time.
Juventus began the match at Cesa di Marciano della Chiana in the ascendancy when they took the lead almost immediately thanks to a converted spot kick from Luca Clemenza. However, the elation was short lived as Ivano Della Morte’s team were reduced to ten men after midfielder Mattia Vitale was shown a red card for dissent just two minutes later.
Parma sniffed an opportunity and sought to make the most of their man advantage by grabbing the equaliser through Alberto Cerri to take the sides into the break on level pegging.
Cerri did manage to double his personal tally after the interval but Tassos Donis got the Bianconeri back on terms in the blink of an eye to set up a tense final 20 minutes with the scoreline locked at two apiece.
The encounter then took a significant turn in Juve’s favour when they first put their noses in front via a great piece of solo play from Donis and then saw their hour-long man disadvantage evaporate when Tommaso Equizi was given his marching orders with ten minutes left to play.
Della Morte’s boys seemed to be edging towards a place in the final but Parma striker Cerri had other ideas and he netted his third of the evening to take the clash to extra-time.
Bianconeri hearts were broken three minutes into additional time when Francesco Silipo scored what proved to be the decisive goal. Despite playing all but ten minutes of the match with a man less, Juve kept pressing on for a fourth goal, but fatigue took its toll and Parma ran out 3-4 winners in a dramatic encounter to secure progression to Wednesday’s grand final against Empoli, who overcame Milan in a penalty shootout this evening.
Although the Allievi could not achieve the Scudetto dream, it can still very much be considered a successful year after they recovered from an indifferent start to the season and managed to achieve a place in the last four thanks to a highly commendable run of form in 2013.