Dutch draw 1-1 with Italy on late goal

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Turin (Italy), June 5 (IANS) The Netherlands have salvaged a 1-1 draw against Italy here in a friendly match between the two traditional soccer powers who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The Azzurri were superior on Monday in the first half in front of some 23,000 people at Turin’s Allianz stadium, who celebrated a goal by Andrea Belotti in the 3rd minute only to see the marker disallowed for an offside.

Italy had two more chances before the break, but Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen bested Simone Verdi in the 42nd minute and midfielder Ruud Vormer made a goal-line stop against Domenico Criscito a minute later.

The Dutch started the second half much improved, as Vormer and Daryl Janmaat began to deliver crosses into the box, Efe news reported.

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Italy coach Roberto Mancini made changes to counter the Dutch surge, sending in Simone Zaza and Federico Chiesa.

The move paid off, as Zaza redirected a Chiesa cross into the net to put Italy up 1-0 in 67th minute. Within seconds, however, the situation turned against Azzurri with the sending off of Criscito, who was given a straight red card for bringing down Ryan Babel just steps from the goal.

Boosted by the man advantage, the Dutch pressed hard for the equalizer, which came in the 88th minute courtesy of a Nathan Ake header.

–IANS

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