Friendlies: Ake seals draw with Italy

Last Updated: 04/06/18 10:02pm

Memphis Depay and Daniele Rugani during the international friendly

Memphis Depay and Daniele Rugani during the international friendly

Nathan Ake scored two minutes from time for the Netherlands to grab a 1-1 draw with hosts Italy in a friendly on Monday in Turin between two high-profile sides not featuring in the World Cup.

Simone Zaza squeezed home a square pass after a sprint down the right flank by Federico Chiesa in the 67th minute to give Italy a deserved lead after they had spurned a series of first-half chances.

Zaza got ahead of a tired-looking Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk to steer the ball home from close range.

But Italy had defender Domenico Criscito sent off two minutes later after he picked up a second caution, opening the door for the Netherlands to push for an equaliser.

Substitute Ake stole in at the back post unmarked to power home a header for the 88th-minute equaliser and might have grabbed a winner on the stroke of full-time in similar fashion.

Italy should have been comfortably ahead at half-time even though both sides looked weary. Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen made a point-blank save from Andrea Belotti and Simone Verdi missed a sitter for Italy.

Dutch midfielder Rudi Vormer cleared off the line with a header just before the interval to deny Bryan Cristante.

Both teams are rebuilding under new coaches – Roberto Mancini for Italy and Ronald Koeman for the Netherlands.

Simone Zaza scored for Italy Simone Zaza scored for Italy

Simone Zaza scored for Italy

World Cup-bound Serbia gave their coach Mladen Krstajic plenty to worry about before the tournament in Russia after a tepid performance in Monday’s 1-0 friendly defeat by a second-string Chile side.

Only two astonishing misses by substitute Angelo Henriquez spared the Serbs a heavier defeat, with centre back Guillermo Maripan heading in an 89th-winner for Chile who failed to qualify for the 32-nation tournament.

Serbia keeper Vladimir Stojkovic produced two fine saves to deny Felipe Mora and Diego Valdes before man of the match Junior Fernandes, who gave his markers a torrid time on either flank, set up a pair of sitters for Henriquez.

The former Manchester United prospect missed a gaping goal from three metres in the 75th minute and shot wide with only Stojkovic to beat.

The Chileans were rewarded in the dying minutes for their more adventurous approach after Maripan rose above his marker to head home an inswinging Jose Bizama cross from the left.

Serbia will play their final warm-up game against Bolivia, also in Graz, on Saturday before flying to Russia where they face Costa Rica, Switzerland and Brazil in Group E.

World Cup Super 6

Could you be the next Super 6 winner? Enter your predictions for free here.

Morocco’s Ayoub Kaabi and Younes Belhanda scored in a 10-minute second-half spell to give the World Cup hopefuls a convincing 2-1 win over Slovakia

Morocco, who play Spain, Portugal and Iran in their first appearance at the finals since 1998, dominated the first half and nearly went ahead when Hakim Ziyech hit the post from long range.

Slovakia, who missed out on the tournament in Russia, went ahead in the 59th minute when Jans Gregus rifled home a low shot from 25 metres.

But substitute Kaabi headed Morocco level five minutes later and Belhanda turned the game around when he chested the ball down and fired home with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Share if you enjoyed this post!

Source link