Struggling Italy held to a draw by Luxembourg

The Northern Echo: FRIENDLY: Phil Jones FRIENDLY: Phil Jones

ITALY’S shocking buildup to the World Cup continued as their winless run was extended to seven games by Luxembourg in Perugia.

Claudio Marchisio’s ninth-minute goal had put the hosts in front and Italy should have extended their lead but were twice denied by the woodwork in the second half.

Maxine Chanot pulled Luxembourg level with five minutes remaining when he nodded past a helpless Gianluigi Buffon in the Italy goal.

Luxembourg followed the Republic of Ireland, Nigeria and Armenia in drawing with Cesare Prandelli’s side in their near nine-month barren spell - although only world and European champions Spain have beaten them in that time, alongside six draws.

Italy will try to put the embarrassing result behind them before their World Cup opener against England on June 14 in Brazil.

They have one more warm-up game, against Brazilian club side Fluminense on Sunday.

Goals from Nabil Bentaleb and El Arbi Soudani gave Algeria a 2-1 win over Romania in Geneva.

Tottenham midfielder Bentaleb’s opener was cancelled out by Alexandru Chipciu but Soudani, the Dinamo Zagreb forward, struck a winner.

Jamaica and Egypt drew 2-2 in a friendly played at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium.

Mohamed El Nenny headed the African side into the lead but Simon Dawkins - registered across London at Tottenham and having spent a successful loan spell at Derby this season - equalised when he tucked away Chris Humphrey’s cross.

Yeovil forward Joel Grant’s stylish solo goal put the Reggae Boyz ahead but after Mohamed Salah twice missed presentable chances, the Chelsea winger set up the equaliser for substitute Bassin Morsi.

  • Rangers have announced that striker Kenny Miller is returning for a third spell at Ibrox.

The 34-year-old initially signed for Rangers back in 2000-01 from Hibernian and then returned seven years later, winning three top-flight league titles, the Scottish Cup and the League Cup before moving to Bursaspor in January 2011.

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