Italy’s Under 21s got off to a winning start in their quest to qualify for the 2017 European Championships in Poland. With Daniele Rugani on the pitch from the first minute, Luigi Di Biagio’s men recorded a 1-0 victory to see off a Slovenia outfit that had already claimed six points from their opening two group games.
The Azzurrini controlled the contest for long periods and went in front through Federico Bernardeschi’s 51st minute strike. The forward might have added to his tally, hitting the post twice, but in the end the scoreline was sufficient to bring home maximum points.
Stephan Lichtsteiner’s Switzerland lost out to group leaders England at Wembley, but still remain in second place in Group E and in the driving seat to secure automatic qualification for Euro 2016.
The Swiss resistance lasted 67 minutes, when Harry Kane opened the deadlock. His strike partner Wayne Rooney then converted a late penalty to wrap up the win, while also netting his 50th for the Three Lions to become England’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, Martin Caceres and Roberto Pereyra were both involved in friendlies for their respective national sides. While Caceres’ Uruguay succumbed to a 1-0 reverse away in Costa Rica, courtesy of a Bryan Ruiz strike, Pereyra’s Argentina managed to salvage a 2-2 draw late on against Mexico.
Trailing by two goals, the Bianconeri midfielder came on as a second-half substitute moments before Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi drew the Albiceleste level with goals in the final five minutes.