NEWS
Saturday September 7 2013
Osvaldo brace in Azzurri test

Dani Osvaldo bagged a brace and Alessandro Diamanti also scored in Italy’s 3-0 friendly test ahead of the Czech Republic.

The squad had a run-out at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin after last night’s 1-0 World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria.

Coach Cesare Prandelli stuck with the 4-3-1-2 system for the first half against Serie D side Ponte San Pietro Isola.

Diamanti started in the trequartista role supporting Stephan El Shaarawy and Manolo Gabbiadini in the hour-long game.

Sampdoria right-back Lorenzo De Silvestri was thrown straight in just hours after arriving to replace injured Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonelli.

Diamanti made the score 1-0 at half-time with one of his trademark curling free kicks after Alessandro Florenzi and El Shaarawy had gone close.

For the second 30-minute half, Prandelli switched to a 3-5-2 system with Mario Balotelli and Osvaldo in attack. Both players – and Riccardo Montolivo – missed the Bulgaria match due to suspension.

Manuel Pasqual also played after he was called up last night from Fiorentina.

Southampton striker Osvaldo was the star of the show with two penalties, awarded for a handling offence and a push on Balotelli.

Torino winger Alessio Cerci replaced Maggio late on, as he is recovering from a knock.

Italy play the Czech Republic at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on Tuesday evening. A win would mathematically secure their spot at the 2014 World Cup.

Italy First Half: Sirigu; De Silvestri, Ranocchia, Astori, Ogbonna; Florenzi, Verratti, Aquilani; Diamanti; El Shaarawy, Gabbiadini

Italy Second Half: Marchetti; Ranocchia, Ogbonna, Astori; Maggio, Aquilani, Verratti, Montolivo, Pasqual; Balotelli, Osvaldo

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