Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Italy

Mario Balotelli © Action Images

Italy snatch last-gasp Dutch draw



Substitute Marco Verratti struck in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw for an otherwise toothless Italy in an international friendly against Netherlands on Wednesday.

Jeremain Lens had put a young Dutch side, whose players averaged 22.3 years, ahead in the 33rd minute and the hosts looked like they were heading for victory as they repeatedly prevented the Italians from netting an equaliser.

Lens picked up a blocked shot from midfielder Kevin Strootman and lifted the ball over Davide Astori before firing home from close range.

In the dying minutes, the Italians stepped up their efforts for a goal and Pablo Osvaldo and Alberto Gilardino came close to scoring before Verratti picked up the ball in the area chipped it over keeper Tim Krul.

"There is still a lot of work to do to let them play the game I want," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli told reporters.

"It is always difficult to get everyone focused for matches like this and only the final 20 minutes we played fierce and aggressive and that paid off."

Prandelli was disappointed with the performance of his strikers Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotteli, who barely troubled the Dutch defence.

This video is not available in your region
Playmaker Andrea Pirlo twice delivered long-range passes to set up Balotelli in the first half but the striker fired wide the first time and had his second attempt blocked by defender Bruno Martins Indi.

"The expectations of Balotelli and El Shaarawy were high (due to) their status at their clubs but now it is time for them to take responsibility in the national team and deliver," Prandelli added.

The stand-out player for the Dutch was 19-year-old playmaker Adam Maher, who connected well with striker Robin van Persie, although the youngster wasted his first two chances which were saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

"Maher played a good match, although he also made some wrong choices," Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal told reporters.

"But I am satisfied with how we played as I demanded that we put them under pressure and that gave the Italians some problems."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
United did well against Chelsea
To a lot of people the celebrations that greeted Robin van Persie’s equaliser “represented how low...

Sunday Oliseh
El Clasico gave a glimpse of the future
Real Madrid were deserving winners of the El Clasico at the weekend. A closer look seems to reveal...

John Dykes
United’s Felli-good factor
He was on their books for 10 years as a player, won everything with them and even coached them last...

Emeka Enyadike
Conversations with Senzo
I woke up this morning to the rude shock of the senseless shooting of Senzo Meyiwa and I still...

Carol Radull
Let the chickens hatch K'ogalo
Last year was an exception but I think “it is written” that the Tusker Premier League must go down...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Listen to the fans Rodgers
While in the UK I decided to do what every Liverpool fan would try and do - catch a game.