Young Italy thrash Northern Ireland 3-0

June 7th, 2009 - 5:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Pisa (Italy), June 7 (DPA) Debutant-loaded Italy beat Northern Ireland 3-0 in a friendly football international.
The young Giuseppe Rossi, Pasquale Foggia and newcomer Sergio Pellissier scored their first goals Saturday for the world champions, who played the first of two friendlies ahead of the June 14-28 Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Newcomer Davide Santon, 18, was also convincing as Marcello Lippi called him and will take him to South Africa after his first splendid season with Italian champions Inter Milan.

A high drive from Giampaolo Pazzini was the game’s first telling effort before Rossi stunned goalkeeper Jonathan Tuffey from outside the area in the 20th minute for a 1-0 lead.

A second chance went begging for Italy five minutes later as Alessandro Gamberini’s header seemed bound for the net, but was cleared off the goal line by Damien Johnson.

The Irish side’s first effort in the 38th minute was a feeble drive from Healy that posed no threat for the newcomer goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.

Giuseppe Mascara and Riccardo Montolivo also came close as Italy closed the first half at a brisk pressing pace.

Irish striker Andrew Little opened the second half with a harmless shot before Foggia beat Tuffey with a perfect lob off an assist from Rossi for a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute.

The Azzurri squandered a spot kick when Tuffey deflected Pazzini’s shot against the post, but eventually scored the third goal in the 72nd minute when the just fielded Pellissier controlled a cross with his chest and fired home from inside the area.

The game also marked the return in midfield of Gennaro Gattuso from a long injury layoff. Gattuso and defender Fabio Grosso were the only 2006 World Champions on the pitch.

“The good thing is that these boys are here and are willing to be with the national team,” Italy coach marcello Lippi said.

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