Italy have come back form behind to earn a draw against Brazil in a thrilling International Friendly in Switzerland. The match started fantastically, with both sides creating many chances in the opening five minutes. The first of those chances came to Italy in the second minute when Emanuele Giaccherini took the ball down the left flank. Giaccherini cut the ball into the Brazil box, which got him past Brazil defender David Luiz, and hit a fierce shot form six yards to the near post. Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar just managed to get a fingertip on the ball to tip it wide. Seconds later, Brazil got their first chance of the match and when Neymar hit a dipping shot from the edge of the eighteen, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon did well to to save it to his right. Shortly after, Cesar made another great save when Mario Balotelli was received a lofted ball inside the Brazil box, and the Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper just managed to kick Balotelli’s first-touch volley out.
Balotelli curled a shot just wide of the far post form the edge of the eighteen in the twelfth minute, and Pablo Osvaldo headed just over Cesar’s bar in the seventeenth minute, but Italy could not find the net. The Azzurri almost got in front in the twentieth minute when Andrea Pirlo hit a brilliant lofted ball to put Christian Maggio in on goal, but an oncoming Cesar denied Maggio of a goal. Amazingly, it was Brazil who opened the scoring and when Italy failed to clear a Filipe Luis cross from the left in the thirty-second minute, the ball fell to Fred at the back post, and the Fluminense star volleyed it past Buffon to put Brazil up 1-0. Italy looked like they would equalize, but The Seleção doubled their lead in the forty-second minute. Neymar picked up the ball in the Italy half off a counter-attack, and took the ball to the edge of the Italy box. He slipped the ball to Oscar in the center of the Italy box, and the midfielder poked the ball past Buffon and into the back of the net. Italy couldn’t grab one back though, and the first half ended 2-0.
Italy started the second half on the attack, and after Balotelli headed just over, they got their first goal of the match in the fifty-seventh minute when Dani Alves didn’t head a corner away. The ball fell to Daniel De Rossi in the center of the box, and De Rossi poked the ball into the back of the net from six yards out. Amazingly, Italy got an equalizer just two minutes later when Balotelli received the ball on the edge of the eighteen. The AC Milan forward hit a stunning shot that just managed to dip over Cesar and into the back of the net to give Italy an equalizer. Italy looked like they would go on to win the match, and almost did when Leonardo Bonucci met Stephan El Shaarawy’s cross in the center of the box, but his glancing header went just wide of the far post. The Azzurri again almost grabbed a winner in in the seventy-fifth minute, and Brazil defender Dante just got a touch on Balotelli’s shot from the right side of the box to send the shot over the bar. But Brazil managed to whether the storm, and after three minutes of extra time the match ended 2-2.
Man of the Match: Julio Cesar