Italy U21s robbed of last-minute equaliser at Euros as ball crosses line with no VAR

Italy U21s were robbed not once but twice in their European Championship opener against France in Romania after a last-minute equaliser was missed by the officials - despite clearly crossing the line. There is no VAR at the tournament, which is also being staged in Georgia, and the decision not to implement video technology has now come back to haunt UEFA, who will be faced with fierce scrutiny following the incident which caused immediate outrage on the pitch.

Italy were left to lick their wounds as their players exploded at the officials at the full-time whistle as they clearly felt as though they had done enough to salvage a point.

As the ball was hoisted into the box in the final minutes of stoppage time, Inter Milan star Raoul Bellanova climbed highest to head the ball back across goal towards the far corner.

The ball then bounced off the inside of the post and was bundled away from behind the line by France defender Castello Lukeba.

To make matters worse, it appeared Lukeba used his arm to hack the ball away from goal before Les Bleus cleared their lines.

Italy could not believe their luck particularly as they felt Stade Rennes forward Amine Gouiri had also fouled Caleb Okoli in the buildup to the second France goal.

Both sides also had penalty appeals turned away throughout the match in what proved to be a thoroughly entertaining contest that will be best remembered for controversy.

Loic Bade had also been sent off for France in the second half for chopping down Italy's Wilfried Gnonto of Leeds.

France led in the match in the first half through Arnaud Kalimuendo, who opened the scoring with a fine flick for Les Bleus.

But Italy responded well and hit back through Pietro Pellegri in the 36th minute.

Both sides were then pressing for a winner but France eventually went back in front in the second half when Bradley Barcola rested their advantage.

Yet Les Bleus hung onto the victory despite the late scare meaning the unfortunate Azzurri will have to dust themselves and rally again if they're to seal qualification for the knockout stages.

There was plenty of talent on display, not least Newcastle's imminent new signings Sandro Tonali.

The Magpies are set to fly delegates to Romania on Friday to finalise his £60million move to St James' Park after striking a deal with AC Milan.

Tonali will be joined by his agent Giuseppe Riso in Romania ahead of his medical which is due to take place in the next 48 hours.

Liverpool target Khephren Thuram also featured for France alongside Manu Kone in midfield, another player that has been linked with a switch to Anfield.

Meanwhile, England's U21 Euro campaign got off to a great start as they beat Czech Republic 2-0 in Group C.

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