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Clinical Italy beat Ukraine in Kyiv

Ukraine 0–2 Italy
Davide Astori's dismissal failed to tip the balance as goals from Giuseppe Rossi and Alessandro Matri gave the visitors a friendly victory.

Giuseppe Rossi celebrates scoring Italy's opener in Kyiv
Giuseppe Rossi celebrates scoring Italy's opener in Kyiv ©AFP

Ukraine 0–2 Italy
Italy scored twice on the counterattack to secure a friendly victory against UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Ukraine in Kyiv.

Giuseppe Rossi pounced on a loose ball to put Italy ahead on 27 minutes, and while the dismissal of Davide Astori 15 minutes from time looked to have handed Ukraine a gilt-edged opportunity to draw level, Sebastian Giovinco helped deliver the sucker punch nine minutes from the end, with his back-heeled pass setting up debutant Alessandro Matri to fire in off the post.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk full-back Yaroslav Rakitskiy almost opened the scoring with Ukraine's first attack of the game, but Emiliano Viviano turned his long-range effort against the woodwork. Artem Fedetskiy and Andriy Yarmolenko found the goalkeeper in similarly alert mode before Italy then went ahead, Rossi pouncing after Antonio Nocerino's shot was deflected into his path by Rakitskiy.

Despite being behind at the break, Ukraine had dominated possession. However, Italy started the second half in a more positive mode and it took a perfectly timed sliding tackle from FC Dynamo Kyiv goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy to stop Rossi scoring a second.

With Andriy Shevchenko absent, Ukraine's defenders took on the attacking mantle; Rakitskiy and Fedetskiy drew saves from Viviano, while Anatoliy Tymoshchuk's shot just missed the target, but it was Ihor Oschipko who had the best chance, firing wide on the half-volley after a corner.

Debutant Astori was sent off with 15 minutes remaining for a second bookable offence, but while Ukraine moved in for the kill they were hit on the counter once more, with Giovinco teeing up first-timer Matri to perfection.

"We received answers to several important questions tonight, but we still have to work on some technical aspects," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said, while opposite number Yuriy Kalitvintsev added: "We totally dominated, especially in the second half. Unfortunately, all that work was undone by some chaotic play in defence. Two mistakes let us down."