Wed, Jun 08, 2016 - Page 18 News List

Antonio Candreva, Daniel de Rossi lead Italy to 2-0 victory over Finland

AFP, PARIS

Italy’s Marco Parolo, left, challenges Finland’s Paulus Arajuuri for the ball in their international friendly in Verona, Italy, on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Italy, runners up at Euro 2012, tuned up for Euro 2016 with a 2-0 friendly win over Finland in Verona, Italy, on Monday.

Antonio Candreva’s first-half penalty with Daniel de Rossi’s contribution after the break gave the Azzurri a useful confidence booster ahead of their tough Group E opener against Belgium on Monday next week.

Lazio winger Candreva scored from the spot in the 27th minute after earning the penalty himself.

He then turned provider to set up Roma midfielder De Rossi in the 71st minute, this pair advancing their claims for a start in future Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s starting lineup in Lyon, France, next week.

The 1968 continental champions, who got the better of Scotland last week, tomorrow are to arrive in Montpellier, their base in France.

Italy, trounced by Spain in the final four years ago in Kiev, limped out of the 2014 World Cup at the first round.

After their Euro 2016 curtain-raiser against Belgium, they face Sweden on Friday next week in Toulouse, France, followed by the Republic of Ireland in Lille, France, four days later.

In other Euro warm-up action on Monday, Poland, missing star striker Robert Lewandowski, were held 0-0 by Lithuania in Krakow.

Poland are drawn in Group C in France. They face Northern Ireland on Sunday, followed by Germany on Thursday next week and Ukraine on June 21.

In Reykjavik, defender Birkir Mar Saeverson fired a stunning goal as Iceland romped to a 4-0 win over Liechtenstein in their final tune-up ahead of Euro 2016.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a simple tap-in before Saeverson thundered in the second on the volley 10 minutes later after Liechtenstein looked to have cleared the danger from a corner.

Alfred Finbogasson netted a third goal four minutes before halftime and 37-year-old striker Eidur Gudjohnsen rounded off the scoring in the 82nd minute, starting and finishing a slick move.

Iceland, who are to appear in the finals of a major tournament for the first time in France, open their Euro 2016 campaign against Portugal on Tuesday next week before facing Hungary and Austria in Group F.

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