- POSTED: 16 Aug 2014 21:08
- UPDATED: 17 Aug 2014 04:08
Andrea Pirlo's coolly taken first-half double led Juventus to a 5-0 win over Singapore Selection on Saturday (Aug 16) as the Italian champions completed their summer tour with a third straight win.
SINGAPORE: Andrea Pirlo's coolly taken first-half double led Juventus to a 5-0 win over Singapore Selection on Saturday (Aug 16) as the Italian champions completed their summer tour with a third straight win.
The elegant player-maker's free-kick and penalty sent Juventus on their way in front of 27,000 fans in what was the first football match at Singapore's new National Stadium.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has recently taken over from newly appointed Italy boss Antonio Conte, said Pirlo had underlined his value to Juventus.
"He played well and I see him as a key player for next season," Allegri told reporters. "He performed well and so did the rest of the team. We have to keep following this direction. This is the last match before the start of the season so let's see what happens when we get back to Italy."
France midfielder Paul Pogba and Sebastian Giovinco both headed against the crossbar and Pirlo had a free-kick saved in the opening minutes as Juventus took immediate control. Their opener came courtesy of some typically quick thinking from Pirlo, who slid another free-kick low and under the leaping wall on 17 minutes.
A minute before half-time, Pirlo doubled Juventus's lead from the penalty spot after Shakir Hamzah's tug on Roberto Pereyra. Pogba had frequently been a threat and he got on the scoresheet on 48 minutes when he rifled Juve's third past busy Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.
After Sunny's point-blank save from Pereyra, Giovinco hit the visitors' fourth from the resulting corner when he lashed home a fierce shot from the edge of the box. Half-time substitute Kwadwo Asamoah volleyed the fifth and final goal on 72 minutes after good work down the right by Jose Martin Caceres.
On a worn and sandy pitch in the plush new arena, it was a suitably emphatic tour finale for Juventus who earlier won 8-1 in Jakarta and beat Australia's A-League Allstars 3-2. They will now return to Italy before launching their bid for a fourth straight Serie A title away against Chievo on August 30.