Romania 1-1 Italy
Ciprian Marica scored for both sides as Italy and Romania played out a friendly draw in the Austrian town of Klagenfurt.
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Ciprian Marica scored a goal for either side as Italy and Romania played out a 1-1 friendly draw in Klagenfurt, Austria.
The VfB Stuttgart foward gave Romania the lead on 34 minutes when he fired in from close range after a Răzvan Raţ effort had been blocked by Leonardo Bonucci, Ciprian Deac having done much to spark the chance down the left. Eight minutes from time, however, Marica deflected Fabio Quagliarella's header into his own net to level terms.
Romania, who lost FC Internazionale Milano defender Cristian Chivu to a muscle injury after just 16 minutes, controlled the first half against an experimental Italy side that struggled to create many clear-cut chances. Andrea Ranocchia, Federico Balzaretti, Cristian Ledesma and Alessandro Diamanti were all making their debuts for the Azzurri and coach Cesare Prandelli had to wait until first half added time for his charges to threaten, when Mario Balotelli forced Costel Pantilimon into a good save after dribbling past two defenders.
As the match got back under way, Alberto Gilardino was denied by both substitute goalkeeper Ciprian Tătăruşanu and the offside flag, but Romania soon began to reassert their control – only for Italy to equalise when Quagliarella headed Andrea Pirlo's corner past Tătăruşanu via Marica. Top of Group C with ten points from four games, Prandelli's side will resume UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying in Slovenia on 25 March, while Romania – second bottom in Group D – will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina the following day.