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International friendly: Italy 0 USA 1

The United States picked up their first ever victory over Italy on Wednesday, winning their international friendly 1-0 in Genoa.

Fulham’s Clint Dempsey scored the lone goal of the game early in the second half, and despite a flurry of activity from the home side, the Americans held out for the win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The match turned out to be a lively and open affair. An early attempt came as soon as the fourth minute, when US goalkeeper Tim Howard was called into a great save from the charging Thiago Motta in the box.

Italy’s biggest problem in the first half was being caught offside a number of times as the US defence did well to hold their line.

Juergen Klinsmann’s men had a few promising attacks themselves, such as when Brek Shea’s run through the Italian centre-backs just failed to reach the ball ahead of Gianluigi Buffon.

The visitor’s best chance fell to a set piece with 10 minutes left in the half, but Dempsey’s powerful strike was well parried by Buffon and the half ended scoreless.

The second half began much as the first, with Italy in control and the Americans looking to counter quickly.

Giovinco was flagged offside twice in quick succession as Prandelli’s men continued to be flustered by the United States’ defensive line.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 55th minute after terrible defending from the home side.

Jozy Altidore laid off a pass for Dempsey, who found himself with space in the box and fired right into the heart of the net as the visitors took a shock lead.

Substitute Fabio Borini nearly levelled matters eight minutes later after redirecting Giampaolo Pazzini’s layoff towards goal, but Howard reached high to smother the shot.

The home side continued to pour forward and Borini nearly snatched a goal in the 78th but Howard blocked the forward’s shot. The Roma man proved to be one of the liveliest players for Italy but failed to level matters.

Chiellini fired over from his header with just five minutes to go, and a flurry of shots followed from the Italians but the United States was up to the task.

Wed 29 February, 2012
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