Italy in groove for battle at Windsor Park
Italy will come to Windsor Park next month aiming to continue a 100 per cent start to their Euro 2012 campaign.
Slovenia, who were also present at the World Cup in the summer, are still, however, looking for their first win.
The Italians were expected to win comfortably at home to the Faroe Islands — and that’s exactly what they did, with three goals in the opening half an hour in a 5-0 victory.
After being made to work by Estonia on Friday, as they had to come from a goal down before winning 2-1, the Italians were quickly into gear last night in Florence with Alberto Gilardino opening the scoring with just 11 minutes gone.
It was 2-0 when Daniele De Rossi scored on 22 minutes and five minutes later Italy were really in the driving seat when Antonio Cassano hit the third.
The Faroes then held on until the final nine minutes, when substitute Fabio Quagliarella scored and in the last minute captain Andrea Pirlo made it a handful.
Slovenia were denied a first victory in their campaign by a late Serbia equaliser in Belgrade.
After losing to Northern Ireland on Friday, Slovenia were on the brink of bouncing back with a victory.
They took the lead 63 minutes into an ill-tempered contest, in which nine players were booked, when Milivoje Novakovic — who missed a number of chances against Nigel Worthington’s men — found the net.
Just when it looked like the visitors would hold on for the win that would see them locked on three points with Serbia and Northern Ireland, they were left with just a single point from their opening two games when Nikola Zigic levelled.