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International Friendly: Italy 4-0 San Marino

By Football News



Italy strolled to a convincing 4-0 win over San Marino in an international friendly at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on Friday.

Italy, looking to make it four games unbeaten, named a strong side which included the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Ranocchia and Andrea Pirlo.

Anyone watching will have expected a comprehensive win for the home side, and the first half saw almost non-stop pressure from Cesare Prandelli's men.

Alessandro Diamanti tested San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini while Alberto Gilardino saw a goal ruled out for offside. It took until the 28th minute for the Euro 2012 runners-up to take the lead and it was Andrea Poli who put his side ahead.

The Sampdoria man latched on to a loose ball just outside the San Marino box before riding a tackle and slotting the ball between Simoncini's legs.

From there it seemed as though the floodgates may open and, sure enough, six minutes later, Italy were two goals to the good as Alberto Gilardino grabbed his 19th international strike to put them in a commanding lead at the break.

Five minutes into the second half, Italy got their third as Andrea Pirlo curled a delightful free-kick into the top right-hand corner of the net before Alberto Aquilani got his name on the scoresheet with a tap in on 79 minutes after a dangerous Pirlo free-kick was fumbled.

After a comprehensive and straightforward win, Italy now travel to Czech Republic for a World Cup qualifier in Prague.

Italy currently top group B while the Czechs sit in third, five points behind.