International Friendly
  • Claudio Marchisio (55' PEN)
  • Manolo Gabbiadini (66')
  • Bogdan Stancu (8')
  • Florin Andone (88')

Romania strike late to secure draw at Italy in friendly

Substitute Florin Andone struck a late equaliser as Romania extended their unbeaten run to 15 games with a 2-2 draw against Italy in Tuesday's international friendly in Bologna.

Italy looked to be heading for victory in their final game of the year after substitute Manolo Gabbiadini put the hosts 2-1 in front in the 66th minute. However, with two minutes remaining, Andone was left with an easy tap-in after substitute goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu failed to hold Vlad Chiriches' header.

Bogdan Stancu had given Romania an eighth-minute lead and they remained in front at half-time. Claudio Marchisio equalised from the penalty spot 10 minutes after the restart before the Italian midfielder set up Gabbiadini for his goal.

The teams went into the encounter at the Renato Dall'Ara stadium having ensured direct qualification for next year's tournament in France and gone unbeaten in the process.

Graziano Pelle started for a second straight game, with the Southampton forward partnering Eder in attack.

Eder's inclusion was one of four changes that Italy coach Antonio Conte made to his starting XI following the 3-1 loss to Belgium in Friday's friendly.

A minute's silence was observed prior to kickoff to remember the victims of Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, with the teams wearing black armbands.

The visitors sent in an early warning in the fifth minute with Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon forced to fully stretch to clear Gabriel Torje's 30-yard effort that was headed towards the far post.

Romania went ahead shortly after. Matteo Darmian and Andrea Barzagli tried to clear a dangerous pass in the area but the ball ricocheted off them and Stancu was on hand to strike a right-footed shot from the edge of the area past a helpless Buffon.

Italy struggled to put a good move together and were limited to shooting from long range. Roberto Soriano tried his luck from outside the area but his attempt went wide.

Midway through the first half, Pelle's diving header from a corner also missed the target.

The hosts wasted a good chance in the 30th minute with Eder's free-kick hitting the wall, and again Italy should have equalised in the 39th minute.

Eder fed Stephan El Shaarawy in the six-yard box but the Monaco forward failed to control the ball and was closed down by Romania goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

On the stroke of half-time, Claudio Marchisio's strike from outside the area went over the bar.

Romania made two substitutions after the restart and almost doubled their lead in the 53rd minute. Torje spotted Stancu in the box and his left-footed shot from six yards went just wide.

The referee then pointed to the penalty spot after Eder went down in the area following contact from Dragos Grigore. Marchisio struck the spot-kick past Tatarusanu to level the match.

Conte made three substitutions soon after, with Stefano Okaka replacing Pelle, Riccardo Montolivo taking Soriano's place in midfield, and Gabbiadini coming in for Eder.

In the 63rd minute, Gabbiadini's header from Montolivo's cross was wide.

Gabbiadini then made no mistake and nodded a pass from Marchisio past a helpless Tatarusanu to score his first goal for the Azzurri.

Italy, who had failed to win in their previous three friendlies this year, conceded a late equaliser after Andone beat Sirigu from close range.