Juventus’ Under 19s overcame Empoli’s identical age category in Sunday’s Final Eight quarter-final clash to reach the last four of the end-of-season playoff being hosted in Sassuolo.
The Azzurri began the encounter brightly, but it was the Bianconeri who would get their noses in front after 22 minutes when Andrea Favilli finished off a fine move involving Pol Lirola and Roman Macek down the right.
Empoli were providing stern opposition on the afternoon, however, and managed to find the equaliser before half-time when Filippo Bellini finally turned in after Emil Audero denied the Tuscans twice in the build-up to the goal.
Juve’s keeper was kept busy at the start of the second period too, saving Alberto Picchi’s effort, but would see his side regain the lead courtesy of Nicolò Pozzebon tucking away Favilli’s knockdown following a lung-busting run down the middle of the park by Francesco Cassata.
The Azzurri’s resilience and resolve, already evident before the break, received further endorsement just after the hour-mark when Alessandro Piu’s strike pulled them back on level terms for the second time of the match.
From then on, however, the Bianconeri began to enjoy the lion’s share of attacks, with opposition stopper Alessandro Giacomel denying Pozzebon and Cassata before Favilli fired over from a promising position in the 73rd minute.