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The Azzurri’s first effort on target came in the fifth minute as Howard stopped Thiago Motta’s weak effort.

The Americans’ first sight of goal came when Fabiano Johnson slotted the ball across to Shea who fired well wide of the right post.

Italy did have the ball in the back of the net in the 26th minute but Matri’s goal was ruled out for offside.

Italy also went close seconds before halftime. Nocerino’s cross in was cleared by the U.S. defense but straight to Motta who lashed in a fierce effort which Howard did well to stop.

The U.S. stunned Italy 10 minutes after the break when Jozy Altidore kicked Bradley’s cross out to Dempsey and the Fulham striker lashed in a fierce shot from just outside the box which flew past Buffon’s outsretched hand and into the bottom left corner. It was Dempsey’s 25th goal in 83 appearances.

“Initially, I was going to stay where I was and have him lay it back to me,” Dempsey said. “I saw the guy was covering. So I tried to move to my right to try get open so he could play me the ball. He did a great job of holding it up, playing me, and I just tried to hit it low and hard, far post, and it went in.”

Italy reacted by bringing on Roma forward Fabio Borini for his international debut and Inter’s Giampaolo Pazzini. The U.S. also introduced a debutante as Terrence Boyd made his first appearance despite not yet having played a first-team club match for Borussia Dortmund.

Borini almost scored for Italy with his first touch for his country but Howard stopped the youngster’s stinging effort from the edge of the area.

Italy upped the pressure on the U.S. goal as the half went on, but never really looked like scoring until Pazzini set up Montolivo for a good chance in stoppage time.

It is Italy’s second defeat in a row, following November’s 1-0 loss to Uruguay in Rome.

U.S. women dominate Denmark 5-0

Alex Morgan scored two goals, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux had one apiece, and the United States opened defense of its Algarve Cup title with a 5-0 win over Denmark on Tuesday.

Seeking their ninth Algarve Cup title and third in a row, the Americans went ahead on a goal by Morgan in the 21st minute in Lagos, Portugal. Wambach doubled the lead in the 44th with her 132nd international goal, second only to Mia Hamm’s 158.

Lloyd scored in the 76th, Morgan again in the 84th and Leroux in the third minute of stoppage time.