Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mateo Retegui’s double proves decisive as Italy edge out Venezuela in Florida

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Mar 2024

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Mateo Retegui scored a brace as Italy left it late to beat Venezuela 2-1 at Chase Stadium.

The Genoa forward’s double separated the teams, after Darwin Machis equalised for the South Americans on the night in Fort Lauderdale.

The Euro 2020 champions relied on Paris St Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma once again and his penalty saving heroics were on full display.

The penalty came early. Italy’s blushes were saved through Donnarumma who got down smartly to deny Salomon Rondon’s spot-kick in the opening minutes.

Italy enjoyed long spells of possession and Federico Chiesa went close to opening the scoring.

The Juventus winger cut inside on the left, opting for the far post but his whipped effort missed the target.

Machis was Venezuela’s brightest player up to this point. He delivered an inch-perfect ball to the head of Rondon but the former West Brom and Everton player’s header failed to trouble Donnarumma.

Italy broke the deadlock in the 40th minute. Goalkeeper Rafael Romo’s poor clearance was picked out by Andrea Cambiaso who laid the ball off to Retegui and the forward smashed the ball in from close range.

Italy’s lead only lasted a few minutes as the potent Machis levelled proceedings.

Donnarumma’s poor pass put Giacomo Bonaventura under pressure and Machis’ pressing forced the mistake out of the midfielder before he provided a composed finish.

The Azzurri were left frustrated and they missed an opportunity to go ahead on the hour when Alessandro Buongiorno should have done better with a header which sailed over the crossbar from a free-kick.

Retegui then capped an impressive night with the winning goal 10 minutes from time.

Jorginho used good footwork to beat a defender after a poor clearance and the Arsenal midfielder laid the ball off to the clinical Retegui, who completed his brace with a powerful finish.

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