10.08.2014 15:50 - in: Friendlies S

    Juve earn late win in Australia

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    Simone Pepe strikes his second in as many pre-season games to settle an entertaining clash with the A-League All Stars in injury time. 3-2 the final score in Sydney

    Bianconeri supporters and football lovers were treated to a spectacular night’s entertainment as both Juventus and the A-League All Stars played their parts in a 3-2 thriller that more than lived up to its box office billing.

    With the club’s all-time top goalscorer Alessandro Del Piero providing the main attraction on the pitch, the supporters were the undoubted stars off it at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

    And their encouragement was fully rewarded as late goals from Paul Pogba and Simone Pepe enabled the Bianconeri to tip the balance in their favour and clinch their second win of pre-season.

    Once the game had got underway following a memorable guard of honour for Del Piero, it was the hosts, lined up in a well drilled 4-3-3 formation, who started the brighter of the two sides, pushing into Juventus territory and testing the back three of Martin Caceres, Leonardo Bonucci and Angelo Obgonna.

    This early pressure did indeed bear fruit as the A-League All Stars gained an early advantage when Marcelo Carrusca dispatched a low left-footed shot past Gigi Buffon on ten minutes.

    Despite Juventus edging further into proceedings as the half wore on, the A-League All Stars continued to fashion the better opportunities on the counter, Berisha seeing his effort parried by Buffon midway through the first half.

    His opposite number, Eugenio Galeokovic, was then given a lucky escape, however, as the Bianconeri went a whisker away from drawing level through a well-struck Carlos Tevez shot that bounced back off the upright.

    Roused by a passionate crowd of over 55,000 in the stands, Juventus found a response shortly after the restart, Patrice Evra crossing for Llorente to nod home on 58 minutes.

    An already lively crowd grew even more vocal when Del Piero’s number came up shortly after the hour-mark, prompting a fitting standing ovation and embraces from players of both sides to conclude his two successful years Down Under.

    With the flow of the game broken up by several substitutions, the A-League All Stars pounced to grab the lead as Tomi Juric - who had only been on the field for a matter of minutes – profited from a moment’s hesitation in the Bianconeri rearguard to slot past Buffon’s replacement Storari.

    Unfazed by the hosts’ lead, Juventus cranked up the pressure and forced the equaliser they deserved when Pogba slammed in an unstoppable volley from the fringes of the penalty area.

    Now with the bit firmly between their teeth, Massimiliano Allegri’s men could sense the opportunity for a winner and ensured there was to be one further late twist in the tale when substitute Pepe latched on to a loose ball and rammed home with seconds to spare.

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