Italy edge Turkey in friendly after World Cup qualifying agony

Italy won 3-2 in an entertaining friendly away to Turkey on Tuesday after Giacomo Raspadori struck twice, although that was scant consolation for their agonising failure to qualify for the World Cup and added to Turkey's misery after they missed out.

Both countries were eliminated from contention for the tournament in Qatar after suffering defeats in their playoff semifinals last week which, had they won, would have pitted them against each other for a World Cup berth.

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European champions Italy suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by North Macedonia while Turkey squandered a late penalty as they lost 3-1 away to Portugal.

On Tuesday, Cengiz Under put Turkey ahead in the fourth minute with a low strike between goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma's legs. But Italy struck back with two quick goals in the closing minutes of the first half to lead.

Bryan Cristante levelled with a powerful header from a free kick in the 35th minute before a mistake from Turkey keeper Altay Bayindir left him face-to-face with Raspadori, who put the Italian side ahead in the 39th.

Italy extended their lead with a second goal by Raspadori in the 69th minute before Turkey's Serdar Dursun raised hopes of a late comeback in the 83rd but the hosts were unable to capitalise on a flurry of late chances.

Turkey last qualified for the World Cup in 2002 when they finished in third place behind champions Brazil and runners-up Germany. Italy did not qualify for the World Cup four years ago, their first failure to reach the global tournament since 1958.