Italy national team player Gianluigi Buffon has earned his 1000th cap as goalkeeper, keeping a clean sheet in the game against Albania.
Italy maintained the pressure on joint group leaders Spain in the UEFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
Buffon earned his 168th European cap. Thus, breaking the previous record held by Spaniard IkerCasillas and Latvia’s VitalijsAstafjevs.
Spain won their game against Israel 4-1 courtesy of goals from David Silva, VitoloMachin, Diego Costa and Isco. So, Italy’s win ensures both sides are level on 13 points after five matches.
The 2006 World Cup winners took the lead through Daniele De Rossi as early as the 12th minute. SokolCikalleshi was almost on target before he was fouled. De Rossi took the spot kick to send the Italians ahead. The game ended without changes to the scoreline.
After the break, Ciro Immobile doubled the tally when he nodded the ball in the 71st minute. The visiting fans hurled smoke bombs that slowed the game but the game went on to finish smoothly.
In other qualifiers, Ireland forced ten-man Wales to a goalless draw. Wales are yet to lose but they have been on a long streak of playing draws. Wales ended the game a man less as Neil Taylor was given the marching orders for his poor tackle on Irish captain Seamus Coleman. Serbia, who are also yet to lose, now top the group after defeating Georgia 3-1 away.
Croatia defeated Ukraine by the slimmest of margins but they now top the group by three points. Iceland are now in second place due to a 2-1 victory at Kosovo. Ukraine and Turkey follow with eight points behind.
World Cup hosts Russia were embarrassed by a disciplined Ivory Coast side. Goals from Jonathan Kodjia and WilfriedZaha ensured the African side emerged 2-0 winners.