With Italy suffering an embarrassing defeat to Mexico during the week all eyes were on Marcello Lippi’s Azzurri for the bounce back in the last friendly encounter against Switzerland before leaving for South Africa.

The Azzurri looked shaky in the middle and the absence of the injured Andrea Pirlo only seemed to make matters worse.

Udinese’s Gokhan Inler opened the scoring early against a disorganized Italian squad, beating sprawling second choice keeper Federico Marchetti, while burying his strike just inside the post on the 10 minute mark.

The Italians came fighting back however and it was Fabio Quagliarella Inler’s former teammate at Udinese, who leveled the scoring when his second attempt header went in off the post.

Montolivo planted a quick cross into the path of Quagliarella, and the Neapolitan did wonderfully to find the far post with a tricky headed finish.

Shortly after Switzerland almost restored their lead when Valon Behrami was given time and space to shoot from 20 yards. Fortunately for Lippi’s side the West Ham man could only blast into the path of Gianluca Zambrotta who deflected the danger away from goal.

On the stroke of halftime Italy almost got their noses in front when Giampaolo Pazzini lunged into the path of a loose ball at the back post. The Doria hitman went agonizingly close to making contact, but he couldn’t stretch the final inch necessary to tap the ball into the back of the net.
Two bad teams

During the second period the visitors enjoyed more of the possession but neither merited the victory as they both failed to create any clear cut chances to score. The Azzurri went away with a well fought draw and went some way to regaining pride following their disappointing defeat two days earlier.

23-man Italy World Cup Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari)

Defenders: Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa) Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria)

Forwards: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Simone Pepe (Udinese); Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria)

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