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Italy in scoreless tie with Ireland and loses Montolivo to injury

Riccardo Montolivo of Italy #18 injured during the International Friendly match between Italy and Ireland at Craven Cottage on May 31, 2014 in London, England.
Riccardo Montolivo of Italy #18 injured during the International Friendly match between Italy and Ireland at Craven Cottage on May 31, 2014 in London, England.
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The Italian national team could not get past a zero tie against Ireland in a friendly game that was played in London on Saturday afternoon. During the friendly match, Italian midfielder Riccardo Montolivo suffered an injury that could keep him out of the World Cup.

As reported on Saturday by ESPN Deportes, the match between Italy and Ireland ended in a scoreless draw in London, England. The biggest story of this match was the fact that Montolivo was injured and might miss the World Cup coming in a couple of weeks.

It is suspected that Montolivo might have a broken leg but no real reports have been released yet on his condition. The only news is that Captain Montolivo was pulled out of the game in a stretcher early in the first half of the game and taken to a hospital.

The match was almost even as Italy controlled the ball longer. The Italians controlled the ball 64 percent of the time compared to Ireland’s 36 percent. However, the Irish outshot their rivals by one. The total sum of shots for the Irish was 16 compared to the Italian’s 15.

Italian goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, who is the second stringer for Italy, made 14 saves. Irish goalkeeper David Forde made four saves. In a sense, the Italians were lucky that the game ended in a tie. The bad part about it is that there were no goals scored and that usually makes any offense look bad, especially the Italian offense.

The Italians did not have Mario Balotelli in the mix. The Azzurri attacked with American-born striker Giuseppe Rossi and Ciro Immobile. The subs were Antonio Cassano and Alessio Cerci who also failed to score in the last moments of the second half.

Italy has one more friendly game against Luxembourg scheduled for June 4. The game will be played in Italy. After that, Italy will open their World Cup in Brazil against England on June 14.