The Bianconeri’s international contingent enjoyed a successful Friday as the road to next summer’s World Cup 2014 continued with a series of important qualification ties contested across the globe.
Kwadwo Asamoah made a fundamental contribution to Ghana’s 2-1 triumph over Zambia in Kumasi, swooping in the 62nd minute to net what would prove to be the winner.
Joining the midfielder on the scoresheet was Stephan Lichtsteiner, who struck twice in the space of 15 minutes as Switzerland stormed into an early lead against Iceland in Berne. The hosts, however, were unable to maintain their advantage and had to settle for a share of the spoils after Iceland reversed a three-goal deficit to draw 4-4.
Elsewhere, France, minus the suspended Paul Pogba, played out a goalless stalemate with Georgia, while Mirko Vucinic’s Montenegro also picked up a point in their 1-1 draw with Poland.
Over in Palermo, Cesare Prandelli selected four Bianconeri players in his starting line-up as the Azzurri put further daylight between themselves and nearest rivals Bulgaria in a closely contested top of the table affair.
Gigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Pirlo all featured for 90 minutes, with Alberto Gilardino’s solitary strike meaning a win over Czech Republic at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday would guarantee Italy’s place in Brazil.
In South America, Martin Caceres played the entire game as Uruguay overcame Peru 2-1, while Mauricio Isla and Arturo Vidal’s Chile recorded a 3-0 victory over Venezuela, with the latter wrapping up the success with a goal in the 84th minute.