Friendlies: Italy edge New Zealand in a 7-goal thriller; Poor Portugal held by Estonia

Italy 4 – New Zealand 3 (International Friendly, June 10, 2009) The Azzurri were stunned heading into the break with New Zealand trailing 2-1 on home soil. Top A-League forward Shane Smeltz headed the Kiwis ahead connecting with a free-kick after 13 minutes. Alberto Gilardino brought Italy level in the 33rd minute but the visitors regained the lead on the stroke of halftime as Chris Killen powered home a thunderous header from a corner. (First half highlights here.) Back came the Italians after the interval, Alberto Gilardino beat his marker to head home a fine Quagriella cross, only for Chris Killen to drag the Kiwis ahead once more with a 57th minute penalty. But the fairytale victory was denied by a Vincenzo Iaquinta brace (68 & 73) that finally ended New Zealand’s memorable effort.

Estonia 0 – Portugal 0 (International Friendly, June 10, 2009) Portugal, missing Cristiano Ronaldo, could not break the deadlock in the first half (highlights here) in Estonia despite just shading the opening 45.


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