Wednesday, 10 June 2009

[Azzurri] Italy survive New Zealand scare

Italy 4-3 New ZealandWorld champions Italy came from behind three times to eventually beat New Zealand 4-3 in South Africa in a warm-up friendly to the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Shane Smeltz gave New Zealand a shock lead after 13 minutes when he headed home past Marco Amelia in Pretoria. Italy drew level on the half-hour mark when Alberto Gilardino headed Fabio Quagliarella's cross into the net.

Chris Killen then restored New Zealand's lead three minutes before the break with a header in off the underside of the crossbar.

Fiorentina's Gilardino netted his second of the contest three minutes after the restart to draw the Azzurri level. However, the All Whites went in front for a third time on the hour mark when Killen converted from the penalty spot after Amelia had tripped him inside the box.

Vincenzo Iaquinta came off the bench to level matters on 68 minutes when he latched onto Andrea Pirlo's pass to score.

The Juventus striker completed the comeback with his second goal five minutes later with a simple tap-in which earned Marcello Lippi's side a second win in five days after Saturday's 3-0 triumph over Northern Ireland in Pisa.

Italy have been preparing for the Confederations Cup in Johannesburg and make their Group B debut against the United States of America in Pretoria on Monday night. New Zealand kick off against European champions Spain in Group A on Sunday.

Italy: Amelia, Santon (Zambrotta 65), Legrottaglie, Gamberini, Dossena, Gattuso (Montolivo 60), Palombo, Pepe (Camoranesi 60), Rossi (Pirlo 46), Quagliarella (Iaquinta 60), Gilardino (Toni 60).
New Zealand: Moss, Mulligan, Vicelich, Boyens, Lochead, Bertos, Brown, Elliot, Brockie (Barron 75), Smeltz, Killen (Wood 80).

[FIFA Confederations Cup 2009]

Source: Sky Sports

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