MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 09:50:58
Jun 7, 2017 at 7.45pm UK
Gimenez (7' og.), Eder (83'), de Rossi (91' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: Italy 3-0 Uruguay - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Italy's 3-0 win over Uruguay, as the Azzurri extended their impressive unbeaten run to nine matches.
Live Commentary: Italy 3-0 Uruguay - as it happened
© SilverHub

Italy made it nine games unbeaten while at the same time inflicting a fifth-successive defeat on Uruguay by picking up a 3-0 win in Wednesday's friendly encounter.

The Azzurri lead through an early Jose Gimenez own goal heading into the final 10 minutes, before adding some gloss to the scoreline through Eder and Daniele de Rossi.

La Celeste barely created a chance all evening, not helped by the absence of key duo Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani for the match in the south of France.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

7.15pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the international friendly meeting between Italy and Uruguay at the Allianz Riviera in Nice. The Azzurri have another crucial World Cup qualifier on the horizon as they take on Liechtenstein in four days' time, aiming to maintain the pace with Group G rivals Spain for that one automatic qualification berth.

7.17pmThis is another chance for boss Gian Piero Ventura to get his players out on the field, then, exactly a week on from brushing aside San Mario with an experimental XI. Some of the more regular starters are expected to return tonight - more on that in a minute or so - while opponents Uruguay play for the final time prior to a well-deserved summer rest for their continental stars.

7.19pmTEAM NEWS!

ITALY XI: Donnarumma, Barzagli, Astori, Bonucci, Darmian, Marchisio, Candreva, De Rossi, Spinazzola, Belotti, Immobile

URUGUAY XI: Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Gimenez, Coates, Caceres, Sanchez, Nandez, Vecino, Gonzalez, Urretaviscaya, Rolan

7.21pmStarting with a look at the Azzurri's starting lineup, Ventura names a far more experienced looking side from the one that cruised to an 8-0 win over San Marino seven days ago. That includes the return of a few Juventus stars, fresh on the back of their crushing Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in Cardiff on Saturday. Ventura claimed in the week that he has no doubt the likes of Andrea Barzagli, Claudio Marchisio and Leonardo Bonucci will take little time to shake off that latest heartbreak.

7.23pmGianluigi Buffon is benched, however, meaning another chance for his protege to impress between the sticks - just a second international start for Gianluigi Donnarumma. An exciting attack partnership for the Italians, meanwhile, as Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti - linked with an array of sides in recent weeks - start up top. Belotti contributed to 33 goals in 35 outings for Torino in Serie A this term, so no surprise to see his name so heavily mentioned in the press.

7.25pmAs for Uruguay, they are without four key players this evening as Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, Diego Godin and Giorgian De Arrascaeta all miss out. Suarez was always going to be absent after picking up an injury in training with club side Barcelona last month, ruling him out of both these end-of-season friendlies, while Cavani picked up a knock in the 3-1 loss to Republic of Ireland and has been unable to shake it off.

7.27pmBoss Oscar Tabarez will go with two up top for this final game of the campaign, pairing Jonathan Urreta with Diego Rolan. The loss of Suarez and Cavani will obviously be felt, but a chance for others to step in and make an impact in what is a fairly high-profile friendly clash in the French Riviera. In terms of the Azzurri, they will go with a 4-2-4 formation, but it is Belotti who is very much the man to watch at this moment in time.

7.29pmItaly have made a very bright start to life under Gian Piero Ventura, who took over from Antonio Conte after last year's fairly successful Euro 2016 showing. The Azzurri lost their opening fixture under the new man in charge - a home defeat to France - but since then it is eight without a loss. Only Spain and Germany, the latter coming in a friendly, have stopped them from winning, while San Marino had eight put past them last time out.

Italy manager Giampiero Ventura on the touchline during the international friendly with Germany in Milan on November 15, 2016© SilverHub

7.31pmThe Azzurri have won four and drawn one of their five competition games under Ventura, ensuring that they remain locked on points with fellow heavyweights Spain in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. That reverse meeting between the sides could well be a straight shootout for top spot if things go to plan, but for that to happen Italy must maintain their perfect record against other teams - continuing with Sunday's clash with minnows Lichtenstein.

7.33pmIn terms of the South Americans, they are in far worse form after losing four games in a row - three qualifiers and one friendly. The 3-1 loss to Republic of Ireland was not too harmful, of course, but successive losses to Chile, Brazil and Peru has halted their momentum completely and they are now looking over their shoulder. Uruguay still find themselves third in the standings, but all of a sudden their path to Russia is not so straightforward.

7.35pmThey had previously won seven and drawn two of their 11 qualifiers, so this recent losing run is far from fatal to their hopes of reaching Russia. La Celeste are one point above a stuttering Argentina side in fifth - not enough for automatic qualification but certainly as good as due to the weighting of the playoffs. Next up for Uruguay, as it turns out, is a huge showdown with Argentina at home in August - what a match that should be.

7.37pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! Three of the previous six meetings between these two sides have resulted in draws, but it was Uruguay who prevailed 1-0 in their last meeting at the 2014 World Cup. That is a game best remembered for Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini, with La Celeste managing to do enough to crawl over the line to progress through to the knockout stages in a group also containing England.

7.39pmThe two sides also met four years ago at the last Confederations Cup, and on that occasion it was Italy who came out on top 3-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw to seal third place in the tournament. This may not be a competitive fixture being stages at the Allianz Riviera, but they certainly have a bit of history and there may be just a little edge to the match. The Azzurri arguably have more to play for, with that big qualifier to come in four days' time.

7.41pmPREDICTION! If both sides were at full strength this one would be tough to call, with just three places between them in the latest FIFA rankings, but the absence of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will surely prove too much for Uruguay. The Azzurri are also in far better form and are boosted by the return of their Juventus contingent tonight, so I am going to back a straightforward 3-1 win for the Italians.

7.43pmBoth sides have made their way out on to the field of play, with kickoff in Nice just a couple of minutes away - both anthems to come before then. The stadium far from full this evening, I am afraid, but this should hopefully be an entertaining contest. Both these teams still have work to do if they are to book their place in Russia next summer; this match the latest in their preparations to get there.

Uruguay's coach Oscar Tabarez sits on the bench during a Group D football match between Uruguay and Costa Rica at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014© Getty Images

1 minKICKOFF! We are up and running in the south of France! Italy in their traditional blue home strip this evening, while Uruguay are in a changed white kit. Good intensity from the Azzurri in these opening seconds.

3 minSAVE! Italy trying to pass their way out from the back, which backfires as possession is soon turned over. Maxi Pereira finds himself in space and tests Donnarumma from a tight angle, giving the youngster something to think about early on.

5 minYELLOW CARD! It may be a friendly, and we may be less than five minutes in, but Marchisio has lunged in on Gimenez and is rightly shown a yellow card by the referee. A needless challenge from the combative midfielder.


8 minA quite bizarre own goal to open the scoring in the south of France. It initially looked like a smart finish from Belotti after bringing down a simple ball over the top, but Gimenez was instead the man who found the net by smashing it over Fernando Muslera. No idea what he was attempting there!

10 minA very lively start to the match, then, which has seen a couple of shots, a strong challenge from Marchisio and an incredible Gimenez own goal. Maxi Pereira gets forward well but his shot from the edge of the box ends a yard wide of goal.

12 minBarely a chance to breathe so far in the opening 12 minutes of this friendly. Both teams really going for it, but at the moment it is Italy who are looking to livelier and they have a goal to show for their positive start.

14 minUruguay definitely growing more and more into the game, as Rolan attempts to work a shooting angle. Always a fear that a friendly match could just peter out from pretty much the first minute, but no sign of that being the case here.

16 minSAVE! Good attempt from Insigne to pick out the top corner, and an even better save from Muslera to help it over the bar. Italy knocking on the door for a second goal, having taken the lead through a bizarre own goal.

18 minA short stoppage in play as Marchisio appears to have tweaked his groin. The Juventus midfielder, making his first appearance under Ventura, is on the sidelines receiving some treatment and may have to make way.

20 minITALY SUB! Claudio Marchisio is withdrawn due to that groin issue, replaced by Riccardo Montolivo with less than a quarter of the game played. Unlikely to be anything serious but pointless taking any risks in a friendly.

22 minA quarter of the match now played and it is Italy who hold a slender lead. A very lively start to the match saw the Azzurri find a way through courtesy of a strange own goal, but since then it has been pretty mixed in terms of possession.

24 minOne win in 12 friendlies at a neutral venue for Italy, incidentally, so they could put to rest a hoodoo of sorts this evening. The Azzurri have come closest to netting a second - Insigne denied by Muslera eight minutes ago.

26 minAfter a quiet spell in the match, Italy work the ball forward and have plenty of players making runs off the ball. Insigne with a chipped cross into the middle at the end of it, but far too close to Muslera who was able to collect with ease.

28 minThe tempo has certainly slowed down over the past 15 minutes or so at the Allianz Riviera. Rolan slips the ball through but the best they can muster is a corner, which Sanchez put into a good area. Cleared away by the Italians, though.

30 minA third of the match played and all the big talking points arrived within about 10 or 15 minutes of each other. Gimenez's shocker of an own goal the difference in terms of the scoreline, and it is the Azzurri who have been the better side.

32 minA bad first touch from Belotti took him away from goal, meaning a corner was the best he could really hope for. It is aimed towards Barzagli but a little overhit, with La Celeste able to clear their line. Pretty end-to-end stuff but little quality.

34 minGood, positive play from Man United full-back Darmian to wriggle his way into the box. Once there he was unable to pick out a teammate, though, and another promising Azzurri attack ends without the opposition keeper being tested.

36 minSHOT! A decent delivery into the centre is headed behind by Darmian, who shows Gimenez how to defend under pressure inside your own box! Up the other end, a sweeping move ends with Insigne volleying wide of the target.

38 minHalf time now fast approaching at the Allianz Riviera in Nice. Uruguay unable to create any sort of clear-cut chance so far but they are certainly not out of the contest, with just the one goal - a rather bizarre one at that - in it.

40 minYELLOW CARD! Ciro Immobile is the second Italian to be booked, presumably for dissent after going down under a challenge from a couple of defenders inside the box. Contact was made but was it enough to go down?...

42 minCHANCE! Big, big chance for Immobile to double his side's advantage. Candreva pulled it back and the forward had time to pick his spot - probably too much time in the end, with Matias Vecino recovering to put in a block seven yards out.

44 minItaly still the side seeing more of the ball as we enter the final 60 seconds or so of the first half. Entertaining match on the whole, which the Azzurri have just about edged in the opening 45 minutes to take a lead into the break.


8.34pmCandreva tries his luck with near enough to final kick of the half, failing to find the target from range. It is Italy who take a slender one-goal advantage into the break, however, given to them thanks to a bizarre early own goal from Jose Gimenez, which Uruguay have so far been unable to recover from.

8.37pmUruguay, without star strikers Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez tonight due to injury, started lively and created a shooting chance for Maxi Pereira to test Gianluigi Donnarumma on his second international start. That did not offer a fair reflection of what was to follow in the first half, though, as Italy largely dominated things and had a lead with just seven minutes on the clock.

8.40pmA ball over the top was brought down well by in-form forward Andre Belotti, but before he could get a shot away Jose Gimenez did the hard work for him, unintentionally booting the ball over his goalkeeper to open the scoring in a bizarre manner. The Azzurri managed to build on that, coming close to a second through Lorenzo Insigne who saw his curler pushed aside by Fernando Muslera.

8.43pmItaly were boosted by the return of their Juventus contingent tonight but saw one of them, Claudio Marchisio, limp off with a quarter of the game played due to a minor groin injury. Insigne volleyed wide at the end of a sweeping move as the first half progressed, though the best chance of the lot fell to Immobile, who took too much time when latching on to Antonio Candreva's cut-back and saw his close-range attempt blocked by Matias Vecino.

8.46pmItaly boss Gian Piero Ventura may well be tempted to make some changes at the break to bring a few more of his players up to speed, while opposite number Oscar Tabarez also has plenty of options available to make...

ITALY SUBS: Buffon, Scuffet, Chiellini, Astori, Ferrari, D'Ambrosio, Conti, Montolivo, Pellegrini, Bernardeschi, El Shaarawy, Eder, Gabbiadini

URUGUAY SUBS: Guruceaga, Conde, Corujo, G Silva, Ricca, A Silva, Rios, Laxalt, Stuani

Giorgio Chiellini of Italy #3 celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the EURO 2016 Group H Qualifier match between Italy and Azerbaijan at Stadio Renzo Barbera on October 10, 2014© Getty Images

46 minRESTART! We are back under way at the Allianz Riviera. Both managers have made a change or two, which I will bring you up to speed with in due course. Uruguay trail by a goal to nil as we begin this second half.

48 minEder has replaced Belotti for the Azzurri, while Stuani is on for Carlos Sanchez as far as La Celeste are concerned. That is two changes made by Ventura now, of course, having been forced to replace Marchisio with Montolivo 18 minutes in.

50 minItaly having far less joy in terms of possession high up the pitch in this second half. La Celeste closing them down a little bitter and giving their opponents less room to operate, but they still need to create something of their own.

52 minThe game just lacking the quality required in the final third. Ventura will be the happier of the two managers on the basis of what we have seen over the 52 minutes thus far, though that could all change in the remaining minutes.

54 minStill awaiting the first attempt of any note of this second half, with neither time able to find any real rhythm to their play. It is the South American outfit - who have lost four in a row - looking the better since the restart, though.

56 minVentura may be thinking of making another change as we approach the hour mark. All eyes on the Liechtenstein qualifier on Sunday, so a chance for player to build their fitness tonight. Donnarumma spills the ball but quickly pounces.

58 minITALY SUB! Bernardeschi replaces Candreva - a steady performer out wide tonight - for the final half an hour or so in the south of France. A really slow second half so far, with very little action in front of either goal.

60 minGOAL DISALLOWED! A towering header from Martin Caceres, who outjumped everyone else in the box and guided the ball past Donnarumma, but he was penalised for a shove on Montolivo. Replays show that was the correct call.

62 minYELLOW CARD! I mentioned pre-match that there might be a bit of an edge to this match, and that is proving to be the case as Nahitan Nandez is booked for a shocker of a challenge on Barzagli. Plenty of unhappy Italian players.

64 minITALY SUB! A fourth change of the evening made by Ventura, who is able to run the rule over a number of his players tonight but at the same time disrupt the flow of the match. El Shaarawy is on for Insigne.

66 minSuch a bland second half, with just the one talking point so far - Caceres's ruled-out goal. The Azzurri struggling to create any sort of openings, while their opponents are seemingly happy to sit back and soak things up.

68 minInto the final quarter of the contest at the Allianz Riviera. La Celeste have probably been the better side in this second half, helped by the fact that they have not had to change shape at any point with no further subs being made.

70 minURUGUAY SUB! Alejandro Silva is on for the ineffective Rolan. Italy had barely anything to do at the back in the first 70 minutes of the match - how different that would have been had Cavani and Suarez been fit.

72 minCLOSE! Donnarumma races out to get to the ball ahead of Stuani, as La Celeste push for a leveller. Up the other end, second-half substitute Eder headed narrowly wide at the back post. Things starting to liven up a bit!

74 minEder really should have been doing better with that chance - by far the best opening of the second half - but he could only nod into the ground and wide when unmarked six yards out. Still 16 minutes left for Uruguay to find an equaliser.

76 minSAVE! Just about the best moment of the whole contest, as Stephan El Shaarawy cuts inside and sends a fine shot towards the bottom corner. Muslera was on hand, quite literally, to push the ball behind the post for a corner.

78 minITALY SUB! Juventus defender Chiellini was always going to get some minutes tonight, having returned to the squad after playing in the Champions League final a few days back, and he is indeed brought on for Barzagli.

80 minWe are now into the final 10 minutes of a match that has failed to truly take off. A positive start and a lively enough past 10 minutes or so, but on the whole the chances have been few and far between. More changes to come...

82 minSUBS! Pereira is off and Coruja on for La Celeste, while Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini has been introduced for the Azzurri in place of Immobile. Eight minutes to play and this one is still far from over.


85 minNot sure if this goal is deserved as such, but Italy have been the better side on the whole this evening and having themselves a second. Gabbiadini created it, a minute after coming on, as he rounded the keeper and saw his off-target attempt hit Eder and cross the line.

87 minUruguay's players felt that Eder was standing in an offside position when he helped that Gabbiadini shot over the line. Thankfully we have video technology available tonight, which was used and rightly saw the goal stand.

89 minThis is actually Uruguay's joint-worst run of form in their history. Still a minute or so of normal time to go, plus presumably a minute or two added on, but it is difficult to see them netting one, let alone two, in that time.


90+2 minOne of those nights for Gimenez, who scythes down El Shaarawy to gift Italy a penalty. Daniele De Rossi steps up to take it, sending the ball home to put the icing on the cake for the Azzurri. A minute or added time left to play.


9.48pmThe full-time whistle is blown at the Allianz Riviera. In the end it was a fairly resounding victory for Italy, thanks to those two goals in the final 10 minutes to add some gloss to the scoreline. For so long an unfortunate Jose Gimenez own goal looked like being the difference, although his night did go from bad to worse as he was responsible for giving away a late penalty.

9.50pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from Nice. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while updates from the final half an hour of the friendly between Spain and Colombia can be found here. Thanks for joining!

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