- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

NICE, France (AP) - A highly embarrassing own goal helped Italy to a 3-0 win over an understrength Uruguay side in a friendly Wednesday.

With his back to the goal, Italy forward Andrea Belotti used his chest to control a long pass from Lorenzo Insigne and Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez struck the ball decisively into the far corner of his own net seven minutes in.

Eight minutes from time, substitute Eder redirected in a cross from Manolo Gabbiadini.

Daniele De Rossi added a penalty in stoppage time following a foul by Gimenez on Stephan El Shaarawy. It was De Rossi’s 21st goal for Italy, moving the midfielder into 12th position on the national team’s all-time list ahead of 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi.

The only negative note for Italy was an apparent injury to midfielder Claudio Marchisio.

“Slowly but surely we’re achieving the goals we set out for ourselves,” Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura said. “We’re on the right path.”

Italy hosts Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying on Sunday.

Uruguay was without key forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, while Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon was rested in favor of 18-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal.

Between them, the two countries have won a combined six World Cups - four for Italy and two for Uruguay.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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