Italy got their FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 off to a winning start as they saw off the challenge of African champions Côte d'Ivoire 1-0 on the opening day in Ras Al-Khaimah. Luca Vido's solitary strike earned victory for the UEFA European U-17 Championship runners-up, getting on the scoresheet within ten seconds of the half-time restart. The victory sees them sit second in Group B on goal difference following Uruguay's heavy defeat of New Zealand.
Italy were in command during the first half, but while possession was plentiful for Gli Azzurini, they found crafting chances with it a more difficult proposition. It took until the mid-point of the opening period for the first clear opportunity to come about, however it fell to the Baby Elephants. Chris Bedia came off the better after battling with AS Roma defender Elio Capradossi, before letting off an effort that forced Simone Scuffet into a fine reaction save.
The Orange-decked Africans were content to try to use the height of Bedia and attacking colleague Meite Yakou, but the Italians did manage an effort before the break as Andrea Palazzi's miscued volley drifted just wide of the post.
Vido broke the deadlock before many had even stretched their legs in the second half though, firing firmly from the edge of the Côte d'Ivoire area beyond the outstretched hand of Seck Diabagate after a mistake by Ismael Diallo. The goal spurred Ibrahima Kamara's side into action, upping their game from the first period. Scuffet was kept busy from then on, but he had little chance with the West Africans' closest effort, as Kouame N'Guessan's deflected shot looped onto the top of the bar.
Yatou could have levelled the scores after Scuffet could only palm Aboubakar Keita's free-kick away, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward put the ball wide. The CAF U-17 African Championship winners now face a tough game against Uruguay to keep their tournament alive, while Italy will be hoping to build on this victory against New Zealand.