Saturday, 5 June 2010

[WC2010] Azzurri held by Switzerland

World champions Italy were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow FIFA World Cup final tournament hopefuls Switzerland in Geneva, matching the scoreline their Azzurri predecessors recorded in their last warm-up games before their triumphant campaigns in 1982 and 2006.

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld made two changes following the recent defeat against Costa Rica, with Gelson Fernandes replacing Tranquillo Barnetta and Valon Behrami coming in for Marco Padalino, while Marcello Lippi brought only Gianluca Zambrotta into the team that lost 2-1 to Mexico two days ago.

The home side took the lead after only ten minutes when midfielder Gokhan Inler, who plays in Italy with Udinese, dribbled past Riccardo Montolivo and fired in a left-footed effort from 20 metres out.

The Azzurri responded only four minutes later, however, courtesy of a precise Fabio Quagliarella header after the Napoli forward's first attempt had rebounded off the head of Philippe Senderos.

Switzerland had the best opportunities to score again at the end of the first half, but Zambrotta blocked a Behrami strike with a timely tackle and goalkeeper Federico Marchetti pulled off a good save from Alexander Frei.

At the other end it took the intervention of Senderos to deny Giampaolo Pazzini a straightforward header from Christian Maggio's right-wing cross.

Both sides made several changes during the second half and the tempo of the game dropped, with fewer openings coming at either end. That said, the hosts still went close in added time through substitutes Hakan Yakin and Xherdan Shaqiri.

They begin their World Cup bid against European champions Spain in Group H on 16 June, two days after Italy face Paraguay in Group F.

The Azzurri squad will now have two days of rest before gathering again in Milan on Tuesday evening to leave for South Africa.

Source: UEFA

No comments:

Post a Comment