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Italy salvage draw with Spain

Friday 7th October , 2016 8:00 am
Daniele de Rossi earned his 108th cap for Italy (Image credit: Getty Images)
Daniele de Rossi earned his 108th cap for Italy (Image credit: Getty Images)

Italy salvaged a draw in a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Spain with a late Daniele de Rossi penalty.

Spain had 72.4% of possession in the first half but failed to score.

They finally took the lead after 55 minutes when keeper Gianluigi Buffon missed an attempted clearance to leave Vitolo to sidefoot in.

Italy rarely threatened but, after Sergio Ramos tripped Eder, De Rossi equalised to extend his country’s unbeaten run in qualifiers to 52 games.

The last time the Azzurri lost a World Cup or European qualifier was in September 2006 when they were beaten 3-1 by France on their way to reaching Euro 2008.

Italy and Spain now have four points from two games, with Albania, who beat Liechtenstein 2-0, top of Group G on six points.

Israel won 2-1 in Macedonia in the other game in the group.

No revenge for Spain

Spain were out to avenge their defeat by the Azzurri in the last 16 of Euro 2016 and quickly took control of the match.

They went close when Andres Iniesta played a one-two with David Silva only to see a weakly struck left-footed shot saved before Gerard Pique sent a close-range header straight at Buffon.

Spain looked set for victory after 38-year-old Buffon’s error as he completely missed the ball when trying to clear a through ball to Vitolo.

However, substitute Ciro Immobile brought some much-needed energy and threat to the home attack and a rash Ramos challenge allowed De Rossi to score.

Iceland win after late drama

Alfred Finnbogason has scored in both of Iceland's 2018 World Cup qualifiers (Image credit: Getty Images)

Alfred Finnbogason has scored in both of Iceland’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers (Image credit: Getty Images)

Iceland shocked England when they knocked them out of Euro 2016 and seemed to be on course for a reality check when trailing Finland 2-1 in their first home 2018 World Cup qualifier since then.

But Alfred Finnbogason equalised in the 90th minute before Fulham’s Ragnar Sigurdsson, who scored in the 2-1 win over England, got a winner in the fifth minute of added time.

Finland had opened the scoring through Teemu Pukki and, even though Kari Arnason equalised, Robin Lod quickly restored the visiting side’s lead.

Gylfi Sigurdsson missed a penalty to compound Iceland’s misery before the late drama.

Iceland are now second in Group I, level on four points with leaders Croatia,who beat Kosovo 6-0 in Albania.

Ukraine drew 2-2 in Turkey and they are third and fourth respectively in the same group.

 

 

 

Source: BBC

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