Viet Nam News
TURIN — Nathan Ake grabbed a late equaliser as the Netherlands held 10-man Italy 1-1 in Monday’s international friendly in Turin between two heavyweights who failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Simone Zaza had put Italy ahead after 67 minutes in Juventus’ Allianz Stadium but the hosts were hit two minutes later when defender Domenico Criscito was sent off for a tackle on Ryan Babel.
Bournemouth centre-back Ake got the equaliser past the hosts two minutes from time, and almost added a second in injury time.
Both sides are rebuilding after failing to reach the World Cup finals in Russia.
New Italy coach Roberto Mancini’s first three games in charge have resulted in a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia, 3-1 defeat by France, and 1-1 draw against the Dutch.
"It was a friendly, I don’t know if that was really a red card," said Mancini.
"Nevertheless it was an enormously naive error. Playing down to 10 men for 20 minutes was tough, as we were already feeling tired.
"It’s difficult after 10 days to develop really complex tactical situations, but we saw some good things against France and again today.
"We’ve got to get playing and gaining experience and that’s what the friendlies are for.
"The lads have got the right mentality and now we go towards August with optimism."
The Dutch are also forging a new era under Ronaldo Koeman after failing to qualify for both Euro 2016 and the World Cup.
Four-time world champions Italy proved wasteful in the first half despite dominating play with chances from Andrea Belotti, Simone Verdi and Criscito.
Torino striker Belotti - starting in place of Mario Balotelli - had the ball in the net within three minutes but the goal was ruled offside.
Lorenzo Insigne - wearing the captain’s armband on his 27th birthday - then set up Verdi who fired over, with Criscito’s header cleared off the line by Ruud Vormer.
All four of Italy’s most recent matches in Turin have ended 1-1 along with previous games against England, Spain and Macedonia.
The Dutch follow last week’s 1-1 draw against Slovakia, having beaten Portugal 3-0 last Match. — AFP