Italy laboured to a scrappy 2-0
win in their Group B World Cup qualifier against Malta in Modena
on Tuesday, with an early strike from Mattia Destro and a late
Federico Peluso header enough to earn them the three points.
Roma striker Destro latched on to a smart Claudio Marchisio
through ball after five minutes but Cesare Prandelli's side
struggled to build on their fast start in a lacklustre first
half that drew jeers from the crowd.
Napoli's highly-rated Lorenzo Insigne replaced the
disappointing Alessandro Diamanti at the start of the second
half and Italy showed more attacking intent but had to wait
until the last minute for Peluso to head the second goal from an
Andrea Pirlo corner.
Victory puts Italy joint top of Group B on four points with
Bulgaria, who beat Armenia 1-0 in Sofia.
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