Pellè scores as England and Italy draw

By SFC Media Tue 31 Mar Club

Southampton striker Graziano Pellè found the back of the net to earn Italy a 1-1 draw against England.

It looked as though Pellè, who featured for 60 minutes, would come out on top in the battle of the Saints, but Andros Townsend’s late goal drew Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand’s England level.

Clyne played the first 45 minutes for Roy Hodgson’s side, while Bertrand won his first England cap since 2012, featuring for the final five minutes.

England stopper Joe Hart was forced into an early save, pushing over the bar from Marco Parolo, before Wayne Rooney saw his deflected strike come back off the crossbar and cleared away to safety.

The opening goal came just after the 30-minute mark, as Giorgio Chiellini’s cross was flicked on neatly by Pellè past Hart and into the bottom corner of the net.

Clyne was withdrawn at half-time, with Kyle Walker coming on in his place, and within five minutes, Pellè had almost doubled his, and Italy’s, advantage.

Hart’s excellent save from Eder saw the ball break kindly for Pellè, but the Saints man couldn’t get his strike on target from the edge of the box.

That was to be the striker’s last real contribution, as he made way on the hour mark with Ciro Immobile taking his place in attack for the Azzurri.

After both managers had made a host of changes Rooney almost grabbed an equaliser, but the Manchester United man saw his effort pushed away by Gianluigi Buffon.

England got their rewards for an improved second-half display as substitute Townsend lashed home from the edge of the area to earn Hodgson’s side a draw.

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