Italy come from goal be­hind to dump man­ager­less Nether­lands

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ITALY re­cov­ered from an early own goal to beat the Nether­lands 2-1 away in a friendly on Tues­day and cap a mis­er­able few days for the hosts who sacked man­ager Danny Blind at the week­end.

Italy’s Alessio Ro­mag­noli de­flected the ball into his own net af­ter 10 min­utes but Eder equalised within 60 sec­onds and cen­tre-back Leonardo Bonucci swept home a loose ball from a corner in the 32nd minute for the win­ner at the Am­s­ter­dam Arena.

De­feat for the Dutch came af­ter a tu­mul­tuous pe­riod in which their World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion hopes were handed a se­vere blow by a 2-0 loss in Bul­garia on Satur­day af­ter which Blind was fired.

Un­der care­taker coach Fred Grim, the Nether­lands be­gan in fiery fash­ion on Tues­day and a quick set of passes be­tween Davy Klaassen and Quincy Promes in­side the Italy area saw the ball come off Ro­mag­noli’s foot into the net to put the hosts ahead.

But the Ital­ians were level within a minute as a floated free-kick was poorly cleared by Wes­ley Hoedt straight to Eder who fired home from out­side the area. It was a replica of the sec­ond goal the Dutch con­ceded in Sofia on Satur­day.

Nether­lands de­fender Bruno Martins Indi headed against the bar from Mem­phis De­pay’s corner af­ter 27 min­utes but five min­utes later Italy went in front when Ro­mag­noli’s ef­fort from a corner brought a su­perb one-handed save from Jeroen Zoet, only for Bonucci to crash the ball into the roof of the net.

An er­ror by Bonucci early in the sec­ond half gave Promes a chance but he was de­nied by a fine save from Italy’s teenage goal­keeper Gian­luigi Don­narumma.

Torino’s Serie A top scorer An­drea Belotti came off the bench to force sev­eral good saves from Zoet, who also de­nied debu­tant Leonardo Spinaz­zola in the fi­nal 10 min­utes.

Vet­eran Wes­ley Snei­jder’s cameo ap­pear­ance near the end held out some prom­ise for the Dutch but al­though he con­jured up two shots in the clos­ing stages they were both saved by Don­narumma, who was mak­ing his first start in the na­tional team.


Italy's Leonardo Bonucci cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against The Nether­lands on Tues­day. Italy won 2-1.

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