Naples, Oct 16: Mario Balotelli came on in the second half to score a late equaliser as Group B winners Italy completed their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-2 draw against Armenia at home.
The hosts suffered a bad start to the game. Yura Movsisyan took advantage of Alberto Aquilani’s poor clearance to put Armenia ahead in the fourth minute Tuesday, reports Xinhua.
Alessandro Florenzi pulled the hosts level in the 24th minute after meeting a pinpointed cross from Lorenzo Insigne.
Armenia goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky made good saves to deny the Italians the lead early in the second half before Henrikh Mkhitaryan put the visitors back in front in the 70th minute.
Balotelli, who missed last week’s 2-2 draw in Denmark with a dose of flu, came to the rescue six minutes later to earn Italy a deserved point.
Cesare Prandelli’s men have finished the qualifying campaign with 22 points after winning six of their 10 games. But two draws from their final two games could cost them the top seed status in the World Cup finals draw.