World Cup-bound Italy and Holland played out a goalless draw in a friendly of few clear-cut chances here on Saturday.
The world champions dominated possession and had a late effort from Giampaolo Pazzini ruled out, but goalkeepers Maarten Stekelenburg and Gianluigi Buffon had precious little to do in a match that will not live long in the memory.
"It wasn't a great spectacle but I'm happy with the general performance," said Italy coach Marcello Lippi.
"We got better after the break, though I also think our formation looked solid in the first half as well. The thing I can't understand was how many misplaced passes we made in the first half.
"But the good thing was we didn't give them a sniff."
"The young ones did fine," he added. "Candreva, Palladino and (Davide) Biondini took a while to settle but came good."
Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk praised his defence.
"We were well-organised at the back against a difficult opponent," he said.
"We created chances early on but just lacked creativity in the final third."
Despite injuries to Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, the Netherlands, third in the FIFA world rankings - one above Italy, also put out a strong 11 with coach Van Marwijk bringing back Mark van Bommel after missing the last four games through injury.
With both sides packing the midfield in a 4-5-1 formation, the opening 20 minutes were conspicuously short on incident with Robin van Persie's exit on a stretcher after a firm but fair challenge from Giorgio Chiellini and a pitch-invader sporting a shirt emblazoned with the words ?(Antonio) Cassano for the National team' the main highlights.
The fifty-fifties continued to be fully committed in a competitive friendly seven months ahead of the World Cup in South Africa.
Shortly after Palladino played his own one-two before hitting a clean 25-yard drive that Maarten Stekelenburg did well to hold.
It was to be the start of an active period for the Juventus-owned player. Ten minutes later, he almost put through his own net, backflicking a Rafael van der Vaart free kick but Gianluigi Buffon was alert to the danger and saved above his head.
On 42 minutes, he had the best chance of the half. Latching on to an Andrea Pirlo corner, Palladino, six yards out, decided to flick the ball with his right foot instead of his left and the ball ballooned over the bar.
The second period began just as the first with the Azzurri bossing the ball but creating very little. Lippi threw Giuseppe Rossi into the fray and the Villarreal forward's intelligent runs began to rattle the Dutch defence.
On 82 minutes Italy finally found the net.
Substitute Giampaolo Pazzini, falling under a challenge inside the six-yard box, palmed the ball across the line after Fabio Cannavaro had headed back across goal a Pirlo cross.
But after prolonged Dutch protests, the referee awarded a free kick with the game seemingly destined to end scoreless.
Source: AFP Global Edition