Jermain Defoe scored the winning goal as England beat Italy 2-1 in Berne in a repeat of the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final, which the Azzurri won on penalties after a goalless draw.
The first half was a tale of two corners with Italy's Daniele de Rossi opening the scoring from Alessandro Diamanti's delivery on the quarter-hour before Phil Jagielka met Frank Lampard's 27th-minute set-piece to equalise with his first international goal. Defoe came of the bench at half time and capped a lively performance with an excellent winner 11 minutes from time.
After a cagey opening, it was one of the survivors from Italy's run to the UEFA EURO 2012 final, De Rossi, who gave Cesare Prandelli's side the lead. The AS Roma midfielder shrugged off Michael Carrick to head Diamanti's 15th-minute corner past Jack Butland on his England debut.
England were tidy in possession but it was another corner that produced the equaliser as Everton FC defender Jagielka stooped to power Lampard's set-piece into the bottom left-hand corner. Lampard was involved again shortly before the break but his free-kick drifted narrowly over the crossbar.
The Azzurri came out firing in the second half with Mattia Destro testing the reflexes of substitute goalkeeper John Ruddy. Antonio Nocerino then found Federico Peluso with an incisive pass but the 28-year-old defender shot wide from a tight angle. England came back into the game and only Salvatore Sirigu's fine save prevented Peluso scoring an own goal after James Milner's cross caused havoc in the Italian defence.
In one passage of play 11 minutes from time, the outcome of the game was decided. Ryan Bertrand cleared off the line to prevent Roy Hodgson's men going behind and England counterattacked. Milner fed Jermain Defoe and the Tottenham Hotspur FC forward fired into the top right-hand corner to clinch victory for England.
Italy play Bulgaria in their opening 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group B game on 7 September while England take on Moldova in Group H on the same day.
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