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Italy beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in pre-World Cup friendly

By IANS Updated: May 29, 2018 8:22 pm

Rome, May 29 (IANS): Italy, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, struggled to defeat Saudi Arabia, who played their first friendly in preparation for the World Cup in Russia.

At the Kybun Park Stadium in St. Gallen on Monday, Italy were 2-0 ahead thanks to goals from Mario Balotelli and Andrea Belotti, but Saudi Arabia, which is in Group A of the World Cup was impressive with a goal by Yahya Al-Shehri and also had chances to draw, reports Efe.

After five games without wins and still far from satisfactory, Italy found themselves back with a win against a brave Arabia, who will continue their preparation before their World Cup debut in friendly matches against Peru, on June 3 and Germany on June 8.

Despite the fact that Italy have four world titles to their name and a long soccer tradition, this friendly was an important test, especially for Saudi Arabia in view of their participation in the Russian World Cup, an event for which the Azzurri failed to qualify.

By IANS Updated: May 29, 2018 8:22:05 pm