Eder, Leonardo Bonucci lead Italy to friendly win at Netherlands
Netherlands 1 - 2 Italy

Eder, Leonardo Bonucci lead Italy to friendly win at Netherlands

28/03/2017

Italy beat Netherlands 2-1 at the Amsterdam ArenA in the first match since the sacking of Oranje head coach Danny Blind.

The Dutch are in real danger of failing to qualify for the World Cup after a 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria on Saturday left them off the pace in Group A and cost Blind his job.

Assistant manager and former Netherlands Under-21 coach Fred Grim has been left in charge of the team until a new man is brought in, with Everton's Ronald Koeman one of several names to be linked with the vacancy, while former boss Louis van Gaal was spotted in the stands.

Netherlands had got off to a flying start when they went ahead through a deflection off Italy defender Alessio Romagnoli.

However, the Azzurri, level on points with Spain at the top of World Cup qualifying Group G, quickly equalised through Inter Milan forward Eder and went into the break ahead through Leonardo Bonucci, which proved enough for victory.

Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman captained the Dutch side, with Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben watching from the stands.

Italy, who beat Albania 2-0 on Friday, handed Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma a first start, which at 18 and 31 days made him their youngest senior international.

Despite all of their problems, it was Netherlands who took an early lead after 10 minutes when Quincy Promes' cross was deflected past a wrongfooted Donnarumma by Romagnoli.

The Azzurri were level within a minute as Eder lashed a low shot into the corner after a long ball had been knocked down to the edge of the Dutch penalty area.

Netherlands almost went back in front when Bruno Martins Indi's towering header smashed the crossbar following a corner.

But Italy took the lead in the 32nd minute. Marco Parolo's header from a corner forced a good reaction save from Jeroen Zoet, but the PSV keeper could do little to prevent Bonucci knocking in the rebound.

Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi went off after taking a blow to his back, which allowed Inter's Roberto Gagliardini to make his senior international debut.

Netherlands started the second half on the front foot as Davy Klaassen's effort was deflected wide before Donnarumma saved from Promes.

The goalkeeper remained busy, saving a bouncing shot from substitute Wesley Sneijder, before Tonny Vilhena's deflected strike in stoppage time went just wide.

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