Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto came to Italy’s rescue as his brace secured a point against Ireland in their EURO U21 championship qualifier.
Gnonto has now scored four goals in this international break for Italy’s U21 team. Ireland took the early lead in the first half but Gnonto dispatched a late first half penalty to level the scores.
After Ireland took the lead again, the Leeds forward managed to equalise with the last kick of the game as he ghosted and appeared at the back post to head in the crucial goal.
Italy U21 remain in first place in Group A on 11 points, followed by the Republic of Ireland on 10, Norway 9, Latvia 7, Turkey 6 and San Marino 0.
The 20 year old was a frequent selection in Italys senior national team this past year, however after missing most of the early part of this season with injury, a decision was made for him to move down to the U21 side during this international break.
Italy U21 manager Carmine Nunziata said the forward had no issue missing out on playing with the senior team:
“Gnonto is a great guy, who presented himself very well but I had no doubts about this,”
“He likes to play football and I know he will do it with us too,”
A fit and firing Wilfried Gnonto is all Leeds United could wish for heading into the packed schedule for the last two months of the year. The Whites resume their league campaign away to Rotherham United this weekend.