England substitute Andros Townsend fired home a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against Italy in a fiercely contested friendly at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on Tuesday.
Italy had taken the lead on the half-hour through Graziano Pelle’s deft header after defender Giorgio Chiellini waltzed around Phil Jones and provided a precise cross from the left.
It was Southampton striker Pelle’s second goal in his three appearances for the “azzurri”.
Italy’s Brazilian-born Eder, whose late goal salvaged a 2-2 draw away to Bulgaria in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday, almost put them 2-0 ahead four minutes after the break but his shot was brilliantly parried with one hand by Joe Hart.
However, Italy could not sustain the pressure and Roy Hodgson’s England side began to take control. Striker Wayne Rooney tested home keeper Gianluigi Buffon’s reflexes with a fierce shot from the edge of the area after 72 minutes.
Then in the 79th minute Townsend, who came off the bench nine minutes earlier, rifled an unstoppable shot past Buffon from 20 metres to give England a deserved draw.
The result left both teams undefeated since last year’s World Cup in Brazil where Italy beat England 2-1 in a group match but neither side qualified for the knockout stages.