Azzurri are back on track

[ITALY-SPAIN] Italy beat Spain for the first time since its 2-1 win in Foxboro Stadium at the 1994 World Cup when it edged the Spaniards, 2-1, on Wednesday before a crowd of 50,000 at Bari's San Nicola Stadium.

Substitute Alberto Aquilani, seeking to get back in the Liverpool after a year on loan to Juventus, scored the late winner.

“If we want to be fair, a draw would have probably been appropriate,” Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said. “We certainly had an advantage in the first half, but Spain played better in the second half.”

Prandelli fielded only three players from Italy's 2006 World Cup team -- goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and midfielders Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi.

“We’re on the right road,” Prandelli said. “This is a young team and when we perform like this against great teams our self-confidence improves.”

Aug. 10 in Bari
Italy 2 Spain 1. Goals: Montolivo 11, Aquilani 84; Xabi Alonso 36.
Italy -- Buffon, Maggio, Ranocchia (Bonucci 77), Chiellini, Criscito; De Rossi (Aquilani 65), Pirlo, Thiago Motta (Marchisio 46); Montolivo (Nocerino 74); Cassano (Balotelli 59), Rossi (Pazzini 59).
Spain -- Casillas (Valdes 46), Iraola (Thiago Alcantara 46), Pique (Busquets 45), Albiol, Arbeloa, Javi Martinez, Xabi Alonso, Iniesta (Villa 46), Cazorla (Mata 79), Fernando Torres (Llorente 14), Silva.

1 comment about "Azzurri are back on track".
  1. Luis Arreola, August 16, 2011 at 9:57 p.m.

    Hey Paul, do a piece on Mexico's world dominance in soccer at all ages. U17 world champs, U20s semifinalists and men's Gold Cup Champs last 2 times. This is "Soccer America's. Let concentrate more on the "Americas" in you're articles. Uruguay and Mexico are giving much more to talk about than Italy winning one friendly. Didn't Mexico tie or beat them not too long ago?

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