Alberto Aquillani, Mario Balotelli and Alessandro Diamanti all featured as Italy suffered a shock result against Haiti.
In England we have been left fairly embarrassed by the performance of our under-21 team in Israel, and rightly so.
Coming into the tournament we were considered one of the favourites with an excellent defensive record and win streak in our tail; but England finished bottom of their group with ‘nul points’ after defeat against Italy, Norway and Israel.
So in these desperate circumstances we must look for reasons to smile and there is never anything more uplifting than reveling in other peoples failure.
So thank you Italy for providing us with just cause to exhale and announce ‘it could be worse’.
The Azzurri are about to embark on the Confederations Cup this summer in Brazil as the European representatives due to Spain’s World dominance.
With that in mind obviously they want to be getting some good build-up underneath their belts and will be participating in several warm-up friendlies.
Last night that involved facing up against the Mighty Haiti in Rio de Janeiro in what should have been a precessionary victory. When you consider that Italy are currently ranked as the eighth best team in the World by FIFA; while Haiti are ranked 63rd then this argument has credence.
However 2013 has been a good year for Les Grenadiers. In January they reached a record high in the world rankings of 38 in January.
But they would never have thought they could have pulled off a result like they did on Tuesday night.
An Italian side that featured former Premier League talents such as Alberto Aquillani, Alessandro Diamanti and Mario Balotelli raced into an early lead when Emanuel Giaccherini scored after 19 seconds and when Claudio Marchisio scored moments after coming on for departing ex-Liverpool man Aquilani the result seemed fixed.
But Haiti grabbed what looked a consolation when substitute Olrish Saurel scored from the penalty spot. But there was more to come as another substitute, Jean Philippe Peguero bagged his 21st goal in his 26th cap to seal the country’s most famous result.
It left the three former Premier League stars and their team-mates, coach and fans thoroughly embarrassed as Haitian’s celebrated arguably the greatest result in their history.
Luckily for Italy a similar result against Tahiti is unlikely in Brazil as they are in opposite groups at the Confed Cup; but after this result Mexico, Japan and Brazil will certainly hold no fear of the Azzurri.
Here are the highlights from the game …
image: © LaertesCTB