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Two-goal Ippoliti leads Italy to Turkey victory

Italy 3-1 Turkey
Luca Ippoliti's double and a Gabriel Lima effort ensured the Azzurri got off to a winning start, but they did go behind to the debutants.

Luca Ippoliti (left) enjoys one of his two goals at the Spaladium Arena
Luca Ippoliti (left) enjoys one of his two goals at the Spaladium Arena ©Sportsfile

Luca Ippoliti scored twice as Italy recovered from a goal down to defeat debutants Turkey in the opening match of UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 Group C.

Ömer Kaner's ensemble, the outsiders in the section, shocked the 2003 winners with an early strike, Yasin Erdal the scorer in exquisite fashion. Ippoliti soon levelled with a deflected drive, yet it was not until the midway point of the second half that the same player volleyed Italy in front. Gabriel Lima stroked in a late third, leaving Turkey needing a result when they meet Russia here on Friday.

As expected, Italy were quick out of the traps, Saad Assis forcing Mahmut Akbaş into action inside 60 seconds with a direct free-kick. At the other end, the Azzurri received a let-off when Stefano Mammarella denied Sami Büyüktopaç, who then lifted the rebound over.

Italy were not so fortunate a few moments later, though, as Yasin punished a lapse in concentration. Having picked Alessandro Patias's pocket, Kenan Köseoğlu broke quickly, teeing up the No4 for a deft chip over Mammarella.

After Mahmut thwarted Vampeta with a fingertip save, Ippoliti restored parity with a powerful left-footed strike from distance which flicked off the head of Serhat Çiçek. Roberto Menichelli's side pinned the newcomers back for the remainder of the half but if it was not a post frustrating them, then a combination of Mahmut and stoic defending ensured the sides went in level at the interval.

Normal service was resumed at the start of the second period, with Mahmut this time saving from Vampeta, who struck the woodwork soon after. It was developing into a game of attack against defence but, just as Italy seemed to be running out of ideas, Ippoliti registered his second from a Lima corner. Lima's casual finish gave the scoreline a more polished appearance.

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