SI Staff
Thursday September 1st, 2016

France eased its way to a 3-1 victory over fellow European power Italy as both tuned up in their final friendly ahead of next week's UEFA 2018 World Cup qualifying openers.

Italy took to the field for the first time under Giampiero Ventura, who replaced Antonio Conte as Azzurri manager, while France turned the page after playing for the first time since having its heart broken in the Euro 2016 final, where it fell to Portugal in extra time.

France took the lead through Anthony Martial's simple finish off a seemingly harmless long ball from Pogba in the 17th minute, only to have Italy equalize four minutes later through Graziano Pelle, whose turn and finish beat Steve Mandanda, deputized in place of the injured Hugo Lloris:

Olivier Giroud restored France's lead, taking down a flicked-on header with his left foot on a first-time effort in the 28th minute.

France padded its lead through Layvin Kurzawa, who ran onto Pogba's assist and finished from a tight angle on the left to beat backup goalkeeper and AC Milan starter Gianluigi Donnarumma. At just 17, Donnarumma is the youngest player to be called up by Italy in 105 years and is the youngest goalkeeper to ever play for the Azzurri.

Both open World Cup qualifying on the road in games they'll be expected to win in the coming days, with Italy playing at Israel on Monday and France playing at Belarus on Tuesday.

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