MX23RW : Sunday, January 20 07:44:46
Jun 6, 2016 at 7.45pm UK
Italy
2-0
Finland
Candreva (27' pen.), De Rossi (71')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Italy toil against Finland in Antonio Conte's farewell fixture on home soil

Antonio Candreva scores one and sets up another for Italy as they beat Finland 2-0 in an international friendly at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

A goal in each half helped Italy to a 2-0 win over Finland on Monday evening in their final game before setting off for the European Championship finals.

The Azzurri dominated the friendly match from the first whistle until the last, although they were made to work hard for their goals against a stubborn visiting side.

Antonio Candreva did his hopes of starting next week's opening Group E fixture against Belgium no harm, scoring one and setting up the other for Daniele De Rossi to ensure that Italy end their Euros preparations on a winning note.

Daniele De Rossi of Italy celebrates after scoring the second goal during the international friendly against Finland on June 6, 2016© Getty Images

In a one-sided first half, it took just seven minutes until Simone Zaza was given his first chance to make a breakthrough when glancing narrowly wide of the far post.

That actually proved to be a rare clear-cut opening for the Azzurri as, for all of their possession in the final third, they were up against a Finland side set out with five defenders across the back.

Zaza was the player looking most likely to make a difference early on, sending a well-hit shot right down the throat of Lukas Hradecky with 16 minutes on the clock as the hosts continued to push forward.

Antonio Conte would have been particularly looking at how the front pairing of Zaza and Ciro Immobile fared in this final pre-Euros outing, and the duo linked superbly soon after with some quick interplay.

There was to be no way through for Immobile on this occasion, though, as he poked his shot a few inches wide of the target in another let-off for the Scandinavian visitors who were now riding their luck.

Italy did finally manage to break the deadlock just short of the half-hour mark when Candreva worked his way into the box from the right, being clipped by Chievo midfielder Perparim Hetemaj to leave the referee with little choice but to point to the spot.

Antonio Candreva of Italy celebrates after scoring his opening goal from the penalty spot during the international friendly against Finland on June 6, 2016 © Getty Images

Candreva was the man to step up and take the penalty, which he tucked away coolly by sending Hradecky the wrong way and putting the Azzurri well on their way.

The theme of the match continued following that opening goal; Italy doing all the attacking against a Finland side that ended their four-game losing streak by holding second-in-the-world Belgium in their last outing.

There was no sign of a shock result on this occasion, however, as the four-time World Cup winners continued to assert their authority on the game without truly troubling Hradecky.

Stefano Sturaro was introduced on the hour for his senior international bow, but it was fellow replacement De Rossi who made more of an impact with a number of fine passes across the field.

It ultimately proved to be a frustrating second half for Italy, just like Conte had predicted it might be pre-match, but De Rossi did show his class once more when nodding home from a perfect Candreva delivery to make it two.

Zaza could have bagged a goal of his own in the final 15 minutes, only for his strike to be kept out by Hradecky when one-on-one from a tight-looking angle.

That proved to be it in at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, meaning a winning send-off for Conte in his final match as Italy manager on home soil prior to taking over at Chelsea after Euro 2016.

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Antonio Conte watches on during an Italy training session on May 25, 2016
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