Saturday 23 February 2019

England curse VAR as Insigne spot on for Italy friendly

International friendly: England 1 Italy 1

Opener: Jamie Vardy celebrates his goal for England
Opener: Jamie Vardy celebrates his goal for England

England's World Cup preparations continued in encouraging fashion despite the late influence of the video assistant referee allowing Italy to snatch a 1-1 draw in the final match before Gareth Southgate names his squad for Russia.

Four days after securing a deserved win in Holland, tentative optimism continued as England produced a promising display against another big-name absentee from this summer's finals.

Italy are not the force they once were but this was another assured display, albeit an all too familiar lack of cutting edge meant England failed to build on Jamie Vardy's early goal and Lorenzo Insigne grabbed a 1-1 draw from a penalty borne out of a late VAR review.

Tarkowski did not think his challenge on Chiesa warranted a spot-kick.

"I stood on his foot but I didn't think a lot of it. I thought it was a goal-kick," he said.

Leveller: Lorenzo Insigne strokes home Italy’s penalty
Leveller: Lorenzo Insigne strokes home Italy’s penalty

"It is what it is - I'm not going to complain. It's been a great experience this week.

"It's never a penalty.

"It would have been nice to have two wins but I think there's a lot of positives to take. We look forward to the World Cup now."

  • Brazil claimed some measure of revenge for their 7-1 World Cup 2014 humiliation by Germany with last night's win over Jogi Low's side in Berlin, Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus getting the winner in the 37th minute.
  • Isco was the star of the show as he claimed a hat-trick in Spain's 6-1 drubbing of Argentina last night in Madrid. Diego Costa, Thiago Alcantara and Iago Aspas got the other goals for Spain, which Nicolas Otamendi replied for Argentina.

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