May 31, 2013



4 - 0

San Marino


18:45 +00:00, May 31, 2013

Renato Dall'Ara, Italy

Referee: Marco Borg

Italy 4-0 San Marino

#INSERT type:image subtype:lead caption:Andrea Poli celebrates after giving Italy the lead END#

Italy enjoyed an ideal warm-up for next week's World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic as they swept aside San Marino in Bologna.

But for San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini the scoreline could have been embarrassing as Italy attacked at will, especially in the first half.

Andrea Poli opened the scoring in the 28th minute with Alberto Gilardino doubling the lead six minutes later.

Andrea Pirlo curled home a long-range free-kick five minutes after the break with Alberto Aquilani rounding off the scoring in the 79th minute.

As would be expected, Cesare Prandelli's side were on top from the outset and were within inches of taking a fourth-minute lead.

Pirlo delivered an inswinging corner from the left which found Gilardino in the six-yard box and his header came back off the post.

Simoncini then saved Giacomo Bonaventura's close-range shot with his feet while both Pirlo and Alessandro Diamanti fired over the bar from distance.

Italy were relentless going forward and Simoncini had to superbly tip Aquilani's shot around the post before parrying Diamanti's shot.

Simoncini was the only thing standing between Italy and a landslide victory and he was soon in action again, thwarting Gilardino's close-range shot.

However, the goalkeeper could only repel so much and it was no surprise when the hosts took the lead in the 28th minute.

Pirlo's cross was punched by Simoncini but Poli pounced to slot the ball home.

Pirlo was again thwarted but Simoncini was powerless to prevent Italy doubling their lead.

Aquilani's shot from the centre of the area was parried only for Gilardino to reach the ball first and slot it into the bottom right-hand corner

The goalkeeper thwarted Diamanti and Bonaventura before the break, which will have come as a relief to the under-siege visitors.

Simoncini did not reappear for the second half which was only five minutes old when Italy scored their third, Pirlo curling home a 25-yard free-kick.

At long last San Marino threatened in front of goal when Andy Selva's 30-yard free-kick was unconvincingly gathered by Gianluigi Buffon.

Poli's shot was comfortably taken by replacement goalkeeper Federico Valentini, before half-time substitute Mario Balotelli struck the post with a 25-yard free-kick.

Aquilani worked Valentini before the same player scored Italy's fourth of the night in the 79th minute.

Pirlo's free-kick was fumbled by Valentini with Aquilani pouncing on the loose ball and slotting home from close range.

Valentini tipped Balotelli's shot around the post and parried Alessio Cerci's shot as Italy searched for a fifth but they had to be content with four.

Scoring Summary

Italy San Marino
Andrea Poli (28') 
Alberto Gilardino (34') 
Andrea Pirlo (50') 
Alberto Aquilani (79') 


Italy San Marino
Gianluigi BuffonAldo Simoncini
Angelo OgbonnaAlessandro Della Valle
Andrea RanocchiaDavide Simoncini
Luca AntonelliFabio Vitaioli
Christian MaggioEmmanuel Federico Rinaldi
21 Andrea PirloMatteo Coppini
Alberto AquilaniFabio Bollini
16 Andrea PoliMichele Cervellini
11 Alberto Gilardino10 Andy Selva
24 Giacomo BonaventuraMatteo Vitaioli
22 Alessandro Diamanti11 Alex Gasperoni
Giorgio ChielliniGianluca Bollini 13
17 Michael AgazziMatteo Andreini 
20 Ignazio AbateFederico Valentini 12
25 Alessio CerciEnrico Cibelli 19
26 Salvatore SiriguMaicol Berretti 18
13 Davide AstoriDanilo Rinaldi 22
19 Leonardo BonucciPierfillippo Mazza 
27 Marco SauAlessandro Bianchi 
Mario BalotelliLorenzo Buscarini 16
10 Sebastian GiovincoPietro Calzolari 
23 Emanuele GiaccheriniGabriele Genghini 
12 Mattia De Sciglio
Mattia De Sciglio for Luca Antonelli (45)
Enrico Cibelli for Matteo Coppini (45)
Marco Sau for Giacomo Bonaventura (49)
Federico Valentini for Aldo Simoncini (45)
Mario Balotelli for Alberto Gilardino (49)
Maicol Berretti for Alex Gasperoni (59)
Alessio Cerci for Alessandro Diamanti (49)
Lorenzo Buscarini for Fabio Bollini (67)
Alessio Cerci for Alessandro Diamanti (49)
Gianluca Bollini for Alessandro Della Valle (71)
Salvatore Sirigu for Gianluigi Buffon (70)
Danilo Rinaldi for Matteo Vitaioli (78)
Ignazio Abate for Christian Maggio (76)
Yellow Cards
 Alessandro Della Valle (63)
· Squads: Italy | San Marino