And Killybegs sensation Seamus Coleman had a cracking game for Ireland.
Keith Andrews scored a brilliant goal to put Ireland ahead nine minutes before the break and substitute Simon Cox made sure with a second in the final minute of normal time.
Italy enjoyed most of the possession, but Ireland goalkeeper Mike Forde – standing in for Shay Given – had few saves of note to make on his first senior international start.
And Coleman made some fantastic tackles and runs on the wing.
He survived TWO crunching Italian tackles in the first few minutes as the Azzuri appeared to employ some shocking tactics.
And just before half time – after Ireland had taken the lead – Coleman was able to lash a shot…though it was blocked by Italian defenders.
The Killybegs man was back in the thick of it shortly after the break putting in a great tackle to Criscito sending the ball into the box. The Italy defender stayed down well after the tackle.
A superb performance right through what is Ireland’s second team. And Donegal man Coleman was at the centre of it.
Republic of Ireland: David Forde; Paul McShane, Darren O’Dea (Stephen Kelly, 83), Sean St. Ledger, Stephen Ward (Damien Delaney, 94); Seamus Coleman, Kevin Foley (Glenn Whelan, 60), Keith Andrews, Stephen Hunt, Andy Keogh (Keith Treacy, 75), Shane Long (Simon Cox, 60).
Italy: Emiliano Viviano; Mattia Cassani, Alessandro Gamberini, Giorgio Chiellini, Domenico Criscito (Federico Balzaretti, 66); Antonio Nocerino (Sebastian Giovinco, 59), Andrea Pirlo (Angelo Palombo, 46), Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo; Giuseppe Rossi (Alessandro Matri, 46), Giampaolo Pazzini (Alberto Gilardino, 59)Tags: