[VIDEO PICK: Golazos] Mario Balotelli's stunning second-half curler capped a gripping 2-2 draw in Switzerland that featured terrific goals, abundant talent, strong challenges and a hard fought two-goal comeback by Italy against Brazil.
With nine of the 19 World Cups ever won owned by these two countries even a friendly in Switzerland between Brazil and Italy couldn’t stay neutral for long. The result was a terrific soccer game.
Italy started brightly but Fred, the 2012 MVP in Brazil’s first division, gave Brazil the lead in the 33rd minute when he calmly stroked home a deflection. Brazil’s second goal was utter Selecao with Neymar’s run setting the table for Oscar’s sublime finish, as Italy headed into halftime facing a 2-0 deficit.
The Azzurri responded after the break and Daniele De Rossi redirected a corner to halve the lead at the 54-minute mark, two minutes later Balotelli made David Luiz pay for conceding too much space with a wicked finish from distance. Both teams had chances afterward, with Italy looking more likely to win, and the 22-year-old Balotelli looking like the best player in Geneva throughout.
One can only hope the upcoming qualifiers are this compelling ...