The Americans took the lead in the first half off a Hunter Freeman penalty kick but the second half belonged to the young Azzurri who stormed back with three goals to win the match and advance to the quarterfinals.
Italy will face either Morocco or Japan in the next round.
The U.S. scored first when Freddy Adu was felled in the Italian penalty area and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Adu's penalty was then saved by Italian goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano but the referee called it back claiming the 'keeper had moved forward before the shot was taken.
U.S. and Colorado Rapids defender Hunter Freeman then strode to the spot and calmly placed his kick to Viviano's right and into the back of the net giving the USA a 1-0 lead going in to halftime.
But the second half belonged to the Italians scoring three goals and winning by a 3-1 scoreline.
Italian midfielder Daniele Galloppa scored first in the 54th minute as his powerful shot deflected off U.S. defender Jonathan Spector and past American goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.
Then in the 62nd minute Italian forward Graziano Pelle scored a sensational individual goal to put the Italians up 2-1 and force the hand of the Americans.
With the U.S. pushing more numbers forward the Italian counterattack produced a moment of U.S. indecision at the back and ended up resulting in a USA own goal put in off the foot of substitute Sacha Kljestan in the 75th minute.
The favored Americans thus must pack their bags and return to the States while the rejoicing Italians the same team which lost it's first two matches of the tournament and had virtually no hope of advancing past the group stage continue to dream of the World Youth Championship title.
U.S. U-20 Mens National Team Game Report
Match-up: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Italy U-20 MNT
Date: June 21 2005
Competition: FIFA World Youth Championship – Round of 16
Venue: Arke Stadion – Enschede Netherlands
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. local
Weather: 80 degrees hot
1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
ITA 0 3 3
USA - Hunter Freeman (penalty kick) 44th minute
ITA - Daniele Galloppa (Graziano Pelle) 54.
ITA - Graziano Pelle (Daniele Galloppa) 62.
ITA - own goal (Sacha Kljestan) 74.
USA: 1-Quentin Westberg; 2-Marvell Wynne 5-Patrick Ianni 3-Jonathan Spector 15-Hunter Freeman (13-Jacob Peterson 76); 6-Greg Dalby (capt.) (7-Sacha Kljestan 65) 8-Benny Feilhaber 18-Sammy Ochoa 10-Eddie Gaven 11-Freddy Adu; 9-Chad Barrett
Subs not used: 4-Nathan Sturgis 12-Will John 14-Lee Nguyen 16-Michael Harrington 17-Andrew Kartunen 19-Danny Szetela 20-Brad Evans 21-Justin Hughes
Head Coach: Sigi Schmid
ITA: 1-Emiliano Viviano (capt.); 2-Lino Marzoratti 5-Andrea Coda 6-Michele Canini 13-Francesco Battaglia (15-Antonio Aquilanti 46); 4-Antonio Nocerino 7-Marino Defendi (8-Lorenzo Carotti 93+) 11-Daniele Galloppa 16-Simone Bentivoglio 17-Raffaele De Martino; 9-Graziano Pelle
Subs not used: 3-Andrea D Agostino 10-Michele Troiano 12-Fabio Virgili 14-Palmiro Di Dio 19-Francesco Nieto 21-Daniele Padelli
Head Coach: Paolo Berrettini
ITA - Daniele Galloppa (caution) 11th minute
ITA - Marino Defendi (caution) 31.
USA - Greg Dalby (caution) 45.
ITA - Lino Marzoratti (caution) 57.
ITA - Emiliano Viviano (caution) 87.
Referee: Esam Abd El Fatah (Egypt)
1st Asst.: Beshr Rashwan (Egypt)
2nd Asst.: Luleseged Begashaw (Ethiopa)
Fourth Official: Coffi Codjia (Benin)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Quentin Westberg