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Internationals: Battocchio makes U21 debut

Internationals: Battocchio makes U21 debut
Combative midfielder Cristian Battocchio made his Italy Under-21's debut last night as the Azzurri swept Slovakia aside.

Italy ran out 4-1 winners in what was head coach Luigi Di Biagio's first match in charge of the Italian Under-21s.

Battocchio was handed a start by Di Biagio, playing 81 minutes before being replaced.

New signing Essaid Belkalem was an unused substitute as Algeria drew 2-2 with Guinea in a friendly.

With Belkalem travelling back to England today, the likelihood of the defender being involved at Reading on Saturday looks slim.

Sean Murray played 91 minutes for the Republic of Ireland's Under-21s as they kicked off their 2015 Under-21 European Championships qualification with a win.

Noel King's Under-21s beat the Faroe Islands 4-1, coming from a goal behind the triumph.

Murray was replaced in injury-time by Portsmouth loanee, Frankie Sutherland.

Earlier in the day, Adam Thompson had captained and scored for Northern Ireland's Under-21s.

It was a bittersweet afternoon for Thompson, who saw Northern Ireland crash to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Denmark in a friendly.

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Thursday August 15 2013
Time: 9:40AM

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