Tuesday February 28 2012
Azzurrini earn draw in France

Italy’s Under-21 side earned a prestigious 1-1 friendly draw in France thanks to Alberto Paloschi’s header.

The Azzurrini made changes to their line-up for this friendly in Cannes, above all losing Fabio Borini to his debut senior Italy call-up.

Both Lorenzo Insigne and Mattia Destro blasted just wide from distance, as Italy had good chances in the first half despite France dominating possession.

On 27 minutes Marco Verratti sent Manolo Gabbiadini clear, who dribbled round the goalkeeper, but the angle was then narrow and Varane was able to make a crucial goalline clearance.

Just moments later, France took the lead with Lyon striker Lacazette’s towering header on a Kakuta cross.

It was almost 2-0, but Khazri was flagged offside when he put Kakuta’s long ball into the net.

Goalkeeper Ahamada did well to close down Insigne on a Riccardo Saponara searching pass, then Insigne went close again after his shot was charged down from close range.

Stephan El Shaarawy and Giulio Donati were introduced for the second half. Lacazetta wasted the chance to make it 2-0 straight after the restart by ballooning over from close range, while Saponara was flagged offside when he hit the woodwork on El Shaarawy’s assist.

Italy were again denied by a goalline clearance, this time Corchia preventing Alessandro Florenzi from getting on the scoresheet despite going round Ahamada.

The Azzurrini did get their equaliser on 69 minutes, as Alberto Paloschi nodded in Alessandro Crescenzi’s cross from the left channel.

Ciro Ferrara’s lads began to take control of the game and had great opportunities with El Shaarawy and Insigne, but were unable to get the winner.

France 1-1 Italy

Scorers: Lavazette 29 (F), Paloschi 69 (I)

France U-21: Ahamada; Stanbouili, Isimat-Virin (Corchia 46), Varane, Mavinga (Ghoulam 67); Guilavogui, Grenier; Cabella, Kakuta (Brahimi 46), Khazri (Bulot 67); Lacazette

Italy U-21: Bardi; Santon (Donati 46), Capuano, Caldirola, Crescenzi (Faraoni 78); Saponara (Rossi 61), Verratti, Florenzi (Crimi 85), Insigne; Destro (El Shaarawy 46), Gabbiadini (Paloschi 61)

Ref: Bieri