Italy’s Euro 2012 preparations received yet another blow as they were defeated 3-0 by Russia in Zurich on Friday.
There was a glut of chances throughout the game and it was remarkable that the score was level at the break.
However, the second half saw Dick Advocaat’s side find their finishing touches with Alexander Kerzhakov and a double from Roman Shirokov exploiting some glaring defensive mishaps in the Italian defence in their only warm-up match before the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
In Prague, the Czech Republic, who tackle Russia in their opening Euro 2012 match next Saturday, fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of a tenacious Hungary.
Hungary started the game much the brighter team and took an unexpected, if not bizarre lead after six minutes.
Having been awarded a free-kick in a central position 20 yards from goal, quick-thinking midfield man Balazs Dzudzsak took advantage of a disorganised Czech defence.
With Champions League-winning captain Petr Cech still lining up his wall, Dzudzsak side-footed the ball into the top left corner leaving the home side stunned.
The hosts began to dominate proceedings, eventually equalising in the 25th minute via a Michal Kadlec penalty, though they were more than fortunate to be awarded the spot-kick.
Milan Baros was dispossessed by a fantastic last-ditch challenge by captain Roland Juhasz, only for the match officials to agree with the home fans and award a penalty.
The winner came in the 88th minute.
Hungary broke the Czech back line for the first time in the second half, and Adam Gyursco slotted home from the right side of the box into Cech’s bottom right corner to provide the visitors with a worthy victory having battled throughout.
In Innsbruck, Austria beat co-hosts Ukraine 3-2.
Twente striker Marko Arnautovic scored twice, including the winner in the 89th minute.
Zlatko Junuzovic put the home side ahead after three minutes with Dynamo Kiev midfielder Oleh Husyev equalising for Ukraine with the first of his two goals 11 minutes after the interval.
Arnautovic made the score 2-1 after 62 minutes but three minutes later Husyev scored his second, again with the help of Andriy Yarmolenko.
Arnautovic’s winner a minute from time came thanks to good work from Junuzovic.
In other friendlies, Finland defeated Estonia 2-1 with Njazi Kugi scoring a brace inside the opening 22 minutes and Andres Oper replying in the 33rd minute.
Latvia thrashed Lithuania 5-0 with Edgars Gauracs scoring in the 17th and 48th minutes.
Aleksandrs Cauna had given the winners a 13th minute lead from the penalty spot with Aleksejs Visnakovs (36th minute) and Vitalijs Smirnovs (80th) also scoring.
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