LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - England were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy after Lorenzo Insigne netted an 86th-minute penalty, awarded by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), on Tuesday to take the edge off what had been a highly satisfactory World Cup build-up week for the hosts.
England went ahead in the 26th minute with a fierce shot by Jamie Vardy and, following their 1-0 win in the Netherlands on Friday, looked on course for another big scalp and a sixth consecutive clean sheet without ever really hitting top gear.
Italy, in rebuilding mode after a shock failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup, saw three good early chances missed by Ciro Immobile and looked to be falling to a second successive defeat after their toothless 2-0 loss to Argentina on Friday.
However, the referee then consulted the VAR to rule that James Tarkowski had tripped Italy substitute Federico Chiesa, leaving Insigne to lash home the spot kick at Wembley.
Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ken Ferris