Pellegrini and Barella give Italy 2-0 win over Ecuador

March 25, 2024 10:03 am

Lorenzo Pellegrini [No. 10] celebrates his goal for Italy [Source:]

An early goal from Lorenzo Pellegrini and a late strike from Nicolo Barella gave a revamped Italy side a 2-0 win over Ecuador in a friendly at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on Sunday.

Italy coach Luciano Spalletti made 11 changes to the lineup from Thursday’s 2-1 win over Venezuela, which was the first of the two matches on the U.S tour, giving more players a chance to prove themselves before the Euro 2024 finals in Germany.

There was a minute’s silence in honour of Fiorentina director Joe Barone, who passed away on Tuesday.

Article continues after advertisement

Pellegrini put Italy ahead after three minutes by smashing home after the ball rebounded off the wall from a free-kick.

Minutes later, Nicolo Zaniolo came close to doubling Italy’s lead as he battled for the ball but his attempt was foiled by onrushing goalkeeper Javier Burrai.

Ecuador became a more attacking threat after the hour mark, with Italy keeper Guglielmo Vicario making a diving save after a dangerous attempt from outside the box by Gonzalo Plata.

However, deep into stoppage time Italy counter-attacked and Barella cleverly lobbed Burrai to seal the win.