Saturday, 6 June 2009

[Azzurri] Italy crush Northern Ireland

Italy 3-0 Northern IrelandWorld champions Italy crushed Northern Ireland 3-0 in a friendly in Pisa thanks to fine maiden international goals by forwards Giuseppe Rossi, Pasquale Foggia and Sergio Pellissier.

Rossi struck after just 20 minutes of the match, in which both nations fielded experimental sides with lots of debutants, driving in a splendid left-footed shot from outside the box.

Lazio's Foggia dribbled past a marker and coolly chipped in eight minutes into the second half before fellow substitute Pellissier wrapped things up shortly after coming off the bench for his debut.

Goalkeeper Jonathan Tuffey saved a penalty from Sampdoria's Giampaolo Pazzini with help of the post for the visitors, who posed little threat, with the score at 2-0.

The Azzurri were solid in the first half and then stepped on the gas after the break when Gaetano D'Agostino hit the post with a corner after Foggia's goal and Pazzini's missed penalty.

Chievo's Pellissier controlled the ball and acrobatically spin around to score with 20 minutes remaining but missed a second when he had a one-on-one with substitute 'keeper Alan Mannus 10 minutes from time.

Italy fly out to South Africa for the FIFA Confederations Cup on Sunday night when 13 regulars will come into the squad with many of those in action on Saturday dropping out, including Foggia and Pellissier.

Italy coach Marcello Lippi will have one last friendly test against New Zealand in Pretoria on Wednesday before they open their campaign against the USA on June 29.

[FIFA Confederations Cup 2009]

Source: Reuters

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