Ireland surprise Italy in Liege

LIEGE - In-form Ireland inflicted only a second defeat on Italy coach Cesare Prandelli with a 2-0 friendly win on Tuesday - a coup for Ireland's Italian boss Giovanni Trapattoni, who also used to manage the Azzurri.

Midfielder Keith Andrews scored his second international goal when he fired in at the far post from 25 metres following a free-kick on 36 minutes. It was Ireland's first shot on target.

Simon Cox then injured himself scoring the second late on when he slid in and collided with the post as Ireland secured their first win over Italy since the 1994 World Cup.

Both sides came into the end-of-season game in good form and Italy passed the ball about nicely in the pouring rain but failed to really trouble Ireland goalkeeper David Forde, making his first start.

Italy also made experimental changes from Friday's 3-0 Euro qualifying win over Estonia with Giampaolo Pazzini replacing Antonio Cassano up front.

Strike partner Giuseppe Rossi, linked in the media with a move to Barcelona from Villarreal, was again in sparkling form but was taken off at half-time as Prandelli's side lost for the first time in 10 games.

The match was the latest in a string of Italy friendlies to be played at a neutral venue.