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Italy beat Turkey in post-World Cup disaster friendly


Milan (AFP) – Italy won their first match after failing to qualify for a second straight World Cup by beating Turkey 3-2 in Konya on Tuesday.

Bryan Cristante’s 35th minute header and a Giacomo Raspadori brace gave the European champions the win after Cengiz Under had given the hosts a fourth-minute lead.

Serdar Dursun pulled one back with seven minutes left but Gianluigi Donnarumma, who had a wobbly evening, stopped the Fenerbahce forward from heading Turkey level moments later with a superb save.

Raspadori, who put Italy ahead in the 39th minute and sealed the win with 20 minutes remaining to take his international tally to three, was one of the young hopefuls who turned out in an experimental line-up.

Roberto Mancini is expected to confirm that he is staying on as Italy coach despite his team being beaten by North Macedonia in Thursday’s play-off semi-final and selected a starting XI which featured a clutch of fringe players.

Mancini has a contract which runs until the 2026 World Cup and hinted heavily on Monday that he would not step down.

The 22-year-old Raspadori was making his ninth Italy appearance, in attack alongside his Sassuolo teammate Gianluca Scamacca, 23, had only played twice for his country before Tuesday.

Mancini also selected AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali, 21, who has struggled to get past Euro 2020 heroes Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella while Roma starlet Nicolo Zaniolo performed poorly in a rare appearance for the national team.

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