Belfast Telegraph

Townsend repays faith with his late leveller in Turin

Italy 1-1 England

By Robert Jones

England goalscorer Andros Townsend was pleased to repay manager Roy Hodgson's faith in him as he scored the equaliser against Italy in Turin.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle put Italy ahead before Townsend fired the leveller past Gianluigi Buffon nine minutes after coming off the bench to earn England a creditable 1-1 draw at the Juventus Stadium.

"I was delighted. It was a difficult game and it was hard to break them down," said Townsend.

"They settled very well with three at the back and the two wing backs were difficult to break down and I think there was going to have to be a strike from 20, 25, 30 yards to beat them and to get a goal today and thankfully it was me that got it.

"The manager stuck by me through the tough times and every time he's picked me and every time he has shown me loyalty I have repaid that faith. And I've come on again and repaid that faith again and hopefully it can continue."

Townsend felt that England could have gone on to win the game, but he was satisfied by securing a draw in Italy.

He added: "After we got the equaliser it was all us and we got two or three chances to get the win but it wasn't to be. It was a good result against Italy on their home patch. It's a good way to end the trip."

Hodgson was frustrated after a "disappointing" first half but was pleased with England's application after the break.

"It was a very disappointing first half and the atmosphere of the game was dead," Hodgson said.

"Both teams were guilty of falling into a practice match atmosphere and there was very little injection of pace so at half-time we weren't very satisfied with that.

"In the second half we got back to the standards - we were setting high standards now - but we got back to those standards in the second half and, if any team was going to win the game this evening, it was going to be us."

The England manager also hailed the impact of Townsend and Ross Barkley.

"I thought both he (Barkley) and Townsend turned the game," Hodgson added. "I thought Barkley in particular was really, really good. Very brave, very courageous, prepared to get on the ball all of the time and prepared to take people on.

"He really is an outstanding young talent. It's great that we've had the chance to have him with us these two games and give him 20 minutes in the first game and almost a half here now.

"And I've got to say a word about Andros as that's the second time he's come on and when we needed someone to do something a bit special, he's come up with the goods.

"It means a lot to us as it's no mean feat. We know even in a friendly game, to come to Italy at any time and get a result is never an easy thing to do and to take the game to them like we did in the second half, we are indebted to Andros."

England captain Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, felt Michael Carrick's 44th minute introduction in place of injured Manchester United team mate Chris Smalling was the turning point.

"The best player on the pitch by a mile when he came on was Carrick," said Rooney.

"He dictated the game for us. You saw how much control we had. He was the big difference between the teams."

Italy: Buffon, Ranocchia, Bonucci, Chiellini, Florenzi, Parolo, Valdifiori, Soriano, Darmian, Eder, Pelle. Substitutes: Abate (Florenzi, 60 mins), Vazquez (Eder, 61 mins), Immobile (Pele, 61 mins), Verratti (Valdifiori, 67 mins), Morretti (Chiellini, 72 mins), Antonelli (Darmian, 73 mins)

Goal: Pelle 29

England: Hart, Clyne, Smalling, Jagielka, Gibbs, Jones, Delph, Henderson, Rooney, Kane, Walcott. Substitutes: Carrick (Smalling, 44 mins), Walker (Clyne, 46 mins), Barkley (Walcott, 55mins), Townsend (Delph, 69 mins), Mason (Henderson, 73 mins), Bertrand (Gibbs, 87 mins).

Goal: Townsend 79

Man of the Match: Wayne Rooney

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph