Dempsey nets win for States over Italy

Italy 0 United States 1

Italy 0 United States 1

The United States pulled off an historic first win over Italy in tonight’s international friendly in Genoa.

Fulham striker Clint Dempsey’s 55th-minute goal was the difference between the two sides at the Luigi Ferraris stadium.

The Azzurri had numerous chances to equalise but were denied by some good goalkeeping from Everton’s Tim Howard.

The Americans, who had failed to beat Italy in their previous 10 attempts, claimed their fourth straight win under coach Jurgen Klinsmann, while Italy suffered their second straight loss after defeat against Uruguay in November.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli had emphasised the importance of the game as he looked ahead to this summer’s European Championship, and was keen to test alternatives in attack.

The home side were without injured strikers Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi, while Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli and Roma striker Daniel Osvaldo were omitted after breaching Prandelli’s code of conduct due to recent indiscipline with their clubs.

Prandelli played Alessandro Matri alongside Sebastian Giovinco in attack and Italy almost went ahead in the fifth minute when Christian Maggio set up Thiago Motta and his shot from close range was saved by Howard.

The home side continued to push forward and in the 19th minute Giovinco saw his goal-bound effort saved by Howard.

The USA were limited to long-range shooting and midway through the first half Maurice Edu’s powerful drive from 30 yards went wide.

At the other end, Andrea Pirlo fed Domenico Criscito and his diagonal effort towards the far post was saved by Howard.

Dempsey was the first to test Gianluigi Buffon in the 38th minute with a right-footed shot from 30 yards that was kept out by the goalkeeper.

The hosts ended the opening half in attack and Howard kept out Motta’s attempt from outside the area.

The Americans took a surprise lead early in the second half when Jozy Altidore superbly controlled Fabian Johnson’s cross from the left and set up Dempsey, who made no mistake from 10 yards.

Prandelli made a double substitution on the hour mark, bringing on striker Giampaolo Pazzini and handing Roma forward Fabio Borini his debut.

Italy twice had the chance to equalise as Pazzini found Borini in the area and his central effort from 10 yards was saved by Howard.

Pazzini shot wide from a good position as Italy wasted another good opportunity.

With seconds remaining, substitute Riccardo Montolivo fired inches wide of the far post from outside the area.

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