Leonardo Bonucci and Sebastian Giovinco were both named in Italy’s starting line-up as Antonio Conte made it five wins from six as Azzurri boss with last night’s 1-0 friendly triumph over Albania in Genoa.
Returning from suspension to skipper the side, the defender featured for 82 minutes before making way for Francesco Acerbi, while Giovinco left the action 25 minutes from the end to be replaced by eventual matchwinner Stefano Okaka, who struck the decisive goal in the closing stages.
Over in France, Paul Pogba played the entire 90 minutes of France’s 1-0 victory over Sweden, decided by Rafael Varane’s header with seven minutes to play. The opportunity to make the win more comfortable came moments later through Karim Benzema, but the Real Madrid forward fluffed his lines from 12 yards and the hosts held on for a narrow triumph.
Fresh from making his senior debut for Spain at the weekend, Alvaro Morata followed it up with his first start against Germany last night in Vigo. The clash between the two sides to have won international football’s last four major tournaments was resolved one minute from the end by a fine Toni Kroos drive, condemning the hosts to their fifth defeat of the calendar year.
Elsewhere, Carlos Tevez, on the night of his return to Old Trafford, joined Roberto Pereyra in climbing off the bench during the second half of Argentina’s clash with Portugal. Replacing Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Pastore respectively, the duo were unable to find a way through the Portuguese rearguard, with Raphael Guerreiro pouncing in injury time to make it a happy homecoming for another Manchester United favourite, Cristiano Ronaldo.
In Santiago, Arturo Vidal also found himself on the losing side as Chile were overcome 2-1 by Uruguay. Alexis Sanchez shot the hosts into the lead, but goals either side of the break from Diego Rolan and Alvaro Gonzalez completed the turnaround for Oscar Tabarez’s side. Vidal featured for the full 90 minutes.