NEWS
Tuesday November 17 2015
Italy: Romania hold Azzurri 2-2

Italy fought back to lead Romania and were pegged back late on 2-2 in their final friendly match of 2015.

See how it all unfolded on our LIVEBLOG.

The Azzurri lost 3-1 to Belgium on Friday and made a few changes to the line-up, moving Giorgio Chiellini to left-back for Mattia De Sciglio, while Roberto Soriano and Stephan El Shaarawy stepped in for Marco Parolo and Antonio Candreva. Romania had also qualified for Euro 2016 and started Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu and Napoli defender Vlad Chiriches.

The last two meetings between these nations ended 1-1, preceded by four consecutive Italy victories, all with clean sheets.

In the opening minutes Gigi Buffon flew to palm a Gabriel Torje curler round the far post and Romania took the lead moments later.

Both Andrea Barzagli and Matteo Darmian went for a through pass, the ball ricocheted between them and Bogdan Stancu pounced to drill low past Buffon from the edge of the box. Once again, defensive errors proved costly for the Nazionale.

Chiellini’s cross was just over Eder, Graziano Pellè turned a diving header wide and the Sampdoria striker just failed to get on the end of Alessandro Florenzi’s assist from six yards.

Eder’s free kick was charged down and the Samp forward pulled back from the by-line for Stephan El Shaarawy, but he couldn’t turn in time and was blocked by Tatarusanu.

Claudio Marchisio blasted just over the bar from a ricochet, but it was overall a deeply disappointing first half performance.

Italy had strong penalty appeals in stoppages for a Chiriches shove on Eder as he was about to finish from seven yards, but the referee waved play on.

Eder did eventually get his spot-kick after the restart when brought down by Grigore. Marchisio stepped up and converted under the bar for the equaliser.

Eder wanted another penalty moments later, but instead was booked for simulation, as he left his foot dragging to make contact with Tatarusanu.

Italy made a triple substitution and seemed to change their attitude too after the equaliser, as Manolo Gabbiadini nodded over from close range.

The Azzurri turned the game around completely, as Marchisio volleyed in a cross for Gabbiadini’s header from six yards. Everyone waited and looked at the referee, but the Napoli striker had beaten the offside trap to score his first senior Italy goal.

Salvatore Sirigu was given a run-out. The PSG goalkeeper was hit particularly hard by the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, losing two friends.

El Shaarawy wasted another couple of chances, nodding over and seeing his chest and volley charged down.

Italy had to play the final five minutes with 10 men, as Gabbiadini was carried off with an ankle injury and all the substitutions had been completed.

Romania took advantage and equalised, as Sirigu parried a Chiriches header from a free kick and Andone pounced on the rebound.

Italy 2-2 Romania

Scorers: Stancu 8 (R), Marchisio pen 55 (I), Gabbiadini 66 (I), Andone 88 (R)

Italy: Buffon (Sirigu 69); Darmian, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Florenzi, Marchisio (Parolo 77), Soriano (Montolivo 60), El Shaarawy (Candreva 80); Pellè (Okaka 60), Eder (Gabbiadini 60)

Romania: Tatarusanu; Sapunaru, Chiriches, Grigore, Rat (Filip 83); Pintilii (Prepelita 68), Hoban; Torje (Andone 68), Budescu (Maxim 46), Stancu; Keseru (Sanmartean 46)

Ref: Jaccottet (SWI)