18.11.2015 10:40 - in: Other competitions S

    Eventful final evening of international action

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    Martin Caceres, Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Marchisio all on target for their respective national teams in the last round of fixtures before the return to domestic action

    A draw for Italy against Romania thanks to a superb showing from Claudio Marchisio; goals for Mario Mandzukic and Martin Caceres in their nations’ wins over Chile and Russia respectively; a lively Paulo Dybala cameo in Argentina’s narrow victory over Colombia; success for Stephan Lichtsteiner’s Switzerland who edge out Austria and an emotional night for fans and players alike as Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra’s France are defeated by England at Wembley.

    This, in addition to the last minute abandonment of Germany’s home friendly with Holland for security reasons, would be a neat summation of a busy evening of action for the Bianconeri’s 13 international stars who all promptly returned to Turin ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Milan on the completion of their matches.

    Getting the ball rolling yesterday evening was Daniele Rugani’s Italy U21s who coasted to victory over their Lithuanian counterparts in Castel di Sangro, cementing their place at the top of Euro 2017 qualifying Group 2.

    With Rugani partnering Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli at the back, Luigi Di Biagio’s side never looked like conceding and following Domenico Berardi’s early opener and Marco Benassi’s powerful finish 20 minutes later, the Azzurriniwere rarely threatened by their visitors.

    Kicking off at the same time, Mario Mandzukic’s Croatia overturned a first-half deficit to defeat Russia 3-1 in Rostov-on-Don with all of the visitors' goals coming from players based in Italy, Nikola Kalinic, Marcelo Brozovic and the Juve man himself, his second in as many matches.

    The majority of the evening’s Bianconero activity though was to be found in Bologna as Claudio Marchisio scored the first and then brilliantly assisted the second of Italy’s pair of strikes against Romania in an exciting 2-2 draw.

    Defensive trio Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci all played the full 90 minutes for Antonio Conte’s side while Gianluigi Buffon was replaced by Salvatore Sirigu midway through the second half.

    While the pick of the footballing action was to be found in Italy, France’s friendly with England at Wembley, four days after the tragic attacks in Paris, was naturally the tie to attract the most global attention.

    On an emotional evening in London, following a rousing rendition of the French national anthem from all corners of the stadium before kick-off, goals from Delle Ali and Wayne Rooney set up a 2-0 victory for the hosts.

    Stephan Lichtsteiner meanwhile was limited to only 18 minutes on the field as Switzerland saw off local rivals Austria by two goals to win in Vienna.

    Across the Atlantic, there were profitable evenings for both Martin Caceres and Paulo Dybala. 

    While the defender got on the scoresheet for the second time in three matches for his country in Uruguay’s 3-0 victory against Chile, La Joya struck a post and had a goal disallowed in the closing stages of Argentina’s win in Barranquilla against Colombia.


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