World Cup Last 16: Russia 1-2 Italy

Italy survived a late barrage from the hosts as they won 2-1 in Russia to book their place in the quarter-finals against South Korea. he hosts finished the game with ten men after getting back in the game and were denied an equaliser right at the death.

Italy were unchanged from their win over Saudi Arabia, while Russia made four changes from their draw with Tunisia: Georgy Schennikov, Zelao, Evgeny Balyaikin, and Konstantin Rausch all came into their starting XI replacing Ali Gadjibekov, Evgeny Makeev, Alan Dzagoev,and Alexandr Kokorin.

Italy took the lead in the 14th minute as Giovinco, Marchiso and Forestieri all linked-up on the Italian right before a through-ball was played into the path of Alessandro Florenzi who beat two men on a run into the box before he drilled low and hard past Igor Akinfeev.

The hosts grew into the game, but were unable to breach the Italian defence and they were dealt a blow just three minutes before the break. Giovinvo dummied playing a low ball from Domenico Criscito into the box, leaving the ball to run free for Alessandro Florenzi who knocked it out of his feet before smashing into the top corner.

Russia were forced into two changes before the break, and made a third during the interval as Makeev came on. Midway through the second-half Serges Deble caught Criscito napping and he surged down the Russian right before whipping a ball right to the far post where Evgeny Makeev volleyed home to make it 2-1.

A dramatic final five minutes ended the match in Volgograd as Evgeny Balyaikin was shown a second yellow card when he caught Claudio Marchisio late while already on a booking. Three minutes went up on the board and with the clock on 92:56, Salvatore Sirigu had to make a match-winning save when he held Sergey Parshivlyuk’s header.

                        ITALY 2-1 RUSSIA
              Florenzi 14, 42     Makeev 69
                                  Balyaikin s/o 88

                    Marchisio     Deble
                     Nocerino     Balyaikin