David Alaba scored a stunning free-kick as Austria swept past Italy in comfortable fashion with a 2-0 friendly victory on Sunday, Njenje Media News reports.
On the day the World Cup started in Qatar, two nations who failed to qualify for the tournament locked horns at Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
Austria came out the blocks flying and Xaver Schlager gave them an early lead before Alaba fired home a fierce free-kick to double the advantage before the break.
Roberto Mancini made numerous changes at the break, but it did not change the European champions’ fortunes as they were beaten in Viennna.
The hosts took the lead after just six minutes, Schlager winning possession from Marco Verratti and exchanging passes with Marko Arnautovic before smashing a shot past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Austria continued to apply the pressure, Nicolas Seiwald and Junior Adamu firing efforts off target, the latter then striking the post after Francesco Acerbi failed to clear the ball away.
Ten minutes before the interval, Austria’s assault on the Italy goal paid off again when Alaba thundered an unstoppable free-kick from 20 yards in off the crossbar.
The second half began in the same fashion as the first, Marcel Sabitzer forcing two fine saves from Donnarumma, while Italy offered little until Giacomo Raspadori tested Heinz Lindner from close range.
Italy continued to dominate possession but could not pose enough of a threat in the final third, as Ralf Rangnick’s side saw out another victory.