A busy Thursday of international action produced a number of positive results for those Bianconeri involved.
The most resounding victory of the night was registered by Dani Alves’ Brazil: 4-1 away to Uruguay with Juve’s right-back in action from the very first minute. Goals from Paulinho (hat-trick) and Neymar saw the Selecao come from behind following Edinson Cavani’s opener for the hosts.
Argentina too picked up three precious points, beating Chile 1-0 courtesy of Lionel Messi’s strike. The Barcelona forward was partnered in attack by Gonzalo Higuain, who played the full 90 minutes.
Juan Cuadrado’s Colombia also sealed a win of their own, seeing off Bolivia 1-0 after James Rodriguez’ late intervention. Cuadrado it was who won the ultimately decisive penalty in the 83rd minute. Although Rodriguez was initially denied from the spot, he made sure to sweep home on the rebound.
Tomas Rincon’s Venezuela had looked on course for victory as well after building a 2-0 half-time lead against Peru through goals by Mikel Villanueva and Romulo Otero, but the visitors fought back in the second period to salvage a point. 2-2 the final score.
Yesterday’s results leave Brazil in pole position in their World Cup qualifying group on 30 points. Argentina climb to 22 points, just one behind second-placed Uruguay, while Colombia are breathing down on the Albiceleste’s necks on 21 points. Venezuela, meanwhile, prop up the table on six points.
Moving on to matters close to home, Rolando Mandragora came off the bench in a 2-1 friendly win for Italy’s Under 21s away to Poland.
Emil Audero’s Italy Under 20s, however, fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Poland’s identical age category. Riccardo Orsolini scored the Azzurri’s only goal of the game.
Tonight sees six more Bianconeri involved in international action, as Mario Mandzukic and Marko Pjaca’s Croatia host Ukraine, while Italy – for whom Gianluigi Buffon (set to make his 1000th career appearance), Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani have all been called up to the squad – take on Albania.
Both matches kick off at 20.45 CET and both are crucial World Cup qualifiers for the countries’ respective bids to reach the 2018 finals in Russia.