With both countries already qualified for next year’s World Cup, Italy and Germany battled to a 1-1 draw in friendly play on Friday night at the San Siro.
The match started as a slow, plodding affair with neither side really opening up the type of play worthy of the talent on the field, but closed with some rough fouls and four yellow cards issued in the final 36 minutes of play.
Together the squads combined for 12 shots, with four on target, and only Italy showed enough offensive aggression for the match's lone offsides flag.
Two defenders started and finished the scoring with Germany’s Mats Hummels giving his side an early lead, and Italy’s Ignazio Abate recording the equalizer shortly after.
Germany took advantage of a corner kick, and midfielder Toni Kroos launched his pass towards the center of the box to Hummels, who rose above the Italian defense for a header that ricocheted off the left post and slid past keeper Buffon in the eighth minute.
Kroos and Hummels tried to repeat their magic later in the 71st, but Hummels header flew high and wide left of the net.
In the 28th minute, Abate did an excellent job of breaking free and finding space before working the give-and-go with Thiago Motta for the left-footed strike that went off the post and into the net.
Things did get a bit rougher in the second half, with both clubs picking up a pair of yellow cards. German defender Philipp Lahm earned his yellow in the 54th for dissent, while Italian Claudio Marchisi was shown a yellow for a bad foul on Thomas Mueller in the 70th.
Motta and Kroos would later exchange rough fouls in the 82nd minute and were booked for unsportsmanlike behavior.
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.