June 4, 2018 / 8:50 PM / 16 days ago

Dutch strike late to salvage draw with Italy

(Reuters) - Nathan Ake scored two minutes from time for the Netherlands to grab a 1-1 draw with hosts Italy in a friendly in Turin on Monday between two of the best sides not to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

Simone Zaza squeezed home a square pass after a sprint down the right flank by Federico Chiesa in the 67th minute to give the home team a deserved lead after they had spurned a series of first-half chances.

Zaza got ahead of a tired-looking Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk to steer the ball home from close range.

But Italy had defender Domenico Criscito sent off two minutes later after he picked up a second caution, opening the door for the Dutch to push for an equaliser.

Substitute Ake stole in the back post unmarked to power home a header for the 88th-minute equaliser and might have grabbed a winner on the stroke of full-time in similar fashion.

Italy should have been comfortably ahead at halftime even though both sides looked leg-weary.

Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen made a point-blank save from Andrea Belotti and Simone Verdi missed a sitter for Italy.

Dutch midfielder Rudi Vormer cleared off the line with a header just before the interval to deny Bryan Cristante.

Both teams are rebuilding under new coaches — Roberto Mancini for Italy and Ronald Koeman for the Netherlands.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ed Osmond

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