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The Squadra Azzurri were held to a draw by the Oranje in a far from entertaining game...


Italy and Netherlands were both far from impressive in Pescara and had to settle for a goalless draw in Saturday's international friendly.

The first chance of the game was for the Italians after seven minutes of play. Gilardino was found unmarked as he broke the offside trap, but he couldn't get into a good position and his final shot hit the outside of the net.

Netherlands dominated play and Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt came close to opening the score after about 20 minutes. The former Feyenoord star got the ball in a dangerous position and tried his luck from the edge of the area. However, Kuyt aimed just wide and the chance went begging.

Debutant Antonio Candreva dribbles past Van Bommel after a corner kick for the Azzurri before he fired a shot on goal that went wide of the Dutch goal.

Genoa winger Raffaele Palladino took a nice shot on goal from the edge of the area after some sustained pressure from the Azzurri halfway the first half only to see his shot comfortably saved by Holland shot stopper Maarten Stekelenburg.

The Oranje got a free kick in a dangerous position about ten minutes before the half-time whistle and Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart stepped up to take it. His shot deflected off the head of Palladino, but Gianluigi Buffon was alert and prevented the opener.

The hosts got a huge chance to break the deadlock five minutes later. A corner kick by Pirlo found Palladino alone in the area, but his touch from close range somehow went over the bar.

Holland started the second half the better side of the two and could have opened the score after 52 minutes. Van Der Vaart beat his man and played a great pass for Nigel de Jong, who tried a volley from the edge of the area. Nevertheless, his powerful shot was deflected out.

Gross was found in acres of space on the left wing at the hour mark before he sent in a good cross from Mauro Camoranesi. Nevertheless, the Juventus man failed to get his shot on target and the score remained blank.

John Heitinga could have added his name to the score sheet halfway the second half after a corner kick, but the Everton stopper aimed his header too high and squandered the chance.

Italy scored ten minutes before the final whistle after a goalmouth scramble following a cross by Pirlo from the right. However, Pazzini's final touch was with his hand and the goal didn't stand.

Domenico Criscito played a good long pass for Giuseppe Rossi in the dying minutes of the game. The Villarreal star tried to round the keeper but he got into an impossible position and the ball went out.

Stefan Coerts, Goal.com

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