Tuesday, 31 March 2009

[U21] Giovinco earns draw against Dutch

Netherlands 1-1 ItalyItaly came from behind to draw their penultimate friendly before June's UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals against a Netherlands B team in Kerkrade.

The home side, re-formed after the defending champions failed to reach this summer's finals in Sweden, were 4-0 winners against Germany on Friday but found the Azzurrini much tougher opponents at the Parkstad Limburg Stadion.

Still, it was the home side who took the lead after 22 minutes, unmarked Ajax midfielder Siem de Jong heading in a cross from Gianni Zuiverloon.

Italy coach Pierluigi Casiraghi gave 18-year-old Davide Santon his debut, but it was another Inter player, Mario Balotelli, who played a part in the equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

After the Dutch defence failed to clear a free-kick from the forward, Juventus midfielder Sebastian Giovinco fired a shot past goalkeeper Piet Veldhuizen from the edge of the area.

Both teams had chances to win the game in the second half, the best of them falling to Cagliari's Robert Acquafresca who shot wide after intercepting a back-pass from Peter Wisgerhof.

The Azzurrini's final friendly is against Denmark away on 9 June, a week before they begin their finals campaign against Serbia.

[UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2009]

Source: UEFA

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