Italy 5 Fluminense 3 match report: Italy finally break winless streak, but learn little ahead of England match
Italy had not won in their last seven matches recording six draws and a defeat but managed to see off spirited Brazilian side in an eight-goal madcap friendly
Monday 09 June 2014
Italy recorded their first win in eight games in a madcap friendly with Brazilian club side Fluminense which will have taught World Cup Group D rivals England very little.
Torino striker Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick and linked up well with Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne, who scored the Azzurri's other two goals in a 5-3 win.
Immobile squared the ball for Insigne to open the scoring midway through the first half, though the goal was immediately cancelled out by Chiquinho after poor defending from Ignazio Abate.
Immobile headed in Insigne's cross to restore Italy's lead but they were level again at half-time due to a dreadful error by goalkeeper Mattia Perin, who allowed Carlinhos' toe-poke to squirm under him into the net.
If Italy were concerned that their winless run may be extended, they allayed those fears with three goals in as many minutes early in the second half.
Immobile banged home the rebound after Alessio Cerci's shot was saved and then beautifully completed his hat-trick from Thiago Motta's through-ball, before setting up Insigne to make it five with another simple close-range finish.
Substitute Matheus Carvalho scored within five minutes of his introduction with a fine curling finish and was denied another goal late on by a brilliant point-blank save from Italy's substitute goalkeeper Antonio Mirante - a travelling reserve outside the tournament squad as Italy continue to monitor the fitness of second choice Salvatore Sirigu.
Mario Balotelli's swerving shot in stoppage time was beaten away by home goalkeeper Felipe but there was no further score.
Italy begin their World Cup campaign against Roy Hodgson's England side in Manaus on Saturday.
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