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Italy earn comeback success in Estonia

Published: Friday 3 September 2010, 23.15CET
Estonia 1-2 Italy
Antonio Cassano and Leonardo Bonucci both finished from Andrea Pirlo corners as Cesare Prandell's men recovered from falling behind.
by Paolo Menicucci
Italy earn comeback success in Estonia
Antonio Cassano drew Italy level in Estonia ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 3 September 2010, 23.15CET

Italy earn comeback success in Estonia

Estonia 1-2 Italy
Antonio Cassano and Leonardo Bonucci both finished from Andrea Pirlo corners as Cesare Prandell's men recovered from falling behind.

Two second-half goals in quick succession allowed Italy to come from behind to start UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group C with a 2-1 win in Estonia, their first victory in 2010.

Overseeing his first competitive game since replacing Marcello Lippi following the FIFA World Cup, Cesare Prandelli watched his charges head into the interval 1-0 down after Sergei Zenjov punished a mistake by visiting goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. A pair of Andrea Pirlo corners nonetheless spared the Azzurri's blushes as Antonio Cassano finished on the hour mark and Leonardo Bonucci struck three minutes later, earning their side three points ahead of Tuesday's home meeting with the Faroe Islands.

Estonia, who next travel to Serbia on 8 October, caused much of the early danger and they threatened with just 13 minutes gone when a headed pass from Sergei Zenjov released Konstantin Vassiljev with only Sirigu to beat. The midfielder fired over, but after Sergei Pareiko saved well from Giampaolo Pazzini's close-range effort, Sirigu failed to deal with a long-range Vassilijev free-kick and Zenjov converted the rebound.

The hosts nearly doubled their lead three minutes into the second half when Sander Puri's powerful shot from distance hit the bar with Sirigu beaten. Italy were struggling to find space in attack, but Cassano eventually levelled the scores by heading in a Pirlo corner from the right. The AC Milan playmaker then helped Italy take the lead when he delivered from the opposite corner, with Cassano's back-heel at the near post allowing Bonucci to finish.

Last updated: 03/09/10 23.07CET

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