Germany frustrated by Italy again in 1-1 draw

Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:09pm EST
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By Terry Daley

(Reuters) - Germany hit the woodwork three times as they were held to a fiery 1-1 draw by old rivals Italy on Friday in a friendly which saw coach Joachim Loew celebrate his 100th match in charge.

Ignazio Abate grabbed his first international goal for Italy with a brilliant left-foot shot following a smart one-two with Leonardo Bonucci after Mats Hummels had headed the visitors in front early on at Milan's San Siro.

The result extended Germany's winless run against Italy to seven games, including elimination at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012. Germany's last win in the fixture was 2-0 in a friendly in 1995.

The game, involving two of the heavyweight contenders for the World Cup in Brazil in June, was peppered with tough tackles and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira had to be carried off with a knee injury in the second half after a rash challenge.

Thiago Motta and Toni Kroos were also lucky to stay on the field after the latter kicked out at the Italian who responded by slapping the German.

Loew's side hit the woodwork through Khedira in the 17th minute, Andre Schuerrle just after the half-hour and Benedikt Hoewedes in the dying seconds.

"I'm happy the way the game went overall," said Loew, who replaced Juergen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup and has a record of 68 wins, 17 draws and 15 defeats.

"We delivered a good, aggressive performance and played well defensively," added Loew, who recently renewed his contract until 2016.   Continued...

Italy's Ignazio Abate (R) celebrates after scoring against Germany during their international friendly soccer match at the San Siro Stadium in Milan November 15, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo