World Cup news: Ciro Immobile starred in Italy's win over Fluminese
Last Updated: 09/06/14 7:33am
Ciro Immobile: On target for Italy
Ciro Immobile staked a claim to start against England in Italy's opening game of the World Cup finals as he scored a hat-trick and set-up the other two in their 5-3 win over Brazilian club side Fluminese.
Italy came into the game in Rio de Janeiro without a win in their two other warm-up clashes against Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg, and indeed they had not won in their last eight matches.
Coach Cesare Prandelli had made a raft of changes, with only Ignazio Abate retaining his place from the previous encounter.
The home side started brightly and it was against the run of play when Italy went ahead on 23 minutes when Lorenzo Insigne tapped home after being fed by Immobile.
Fluminese - buoyed by a vocal home support - levelled just minutes later when Chiquinho got ahead of Abate to fire home at the far post after good work from Gusatvo.
Immobile and Insigne then reversed roles as the Borussia Dortmund's new attacker rose to head home a free-kick from the Napoli man.
But still Italy could not keep the lead until the break as stand-in keeper Mattia Perin could not hold Carlinhos' drive as it rolled over the line through his hands.
After the break and Italy killed the game off with three goals in two minutes.
They went ahead on 54-minutes as Immobile struck from 12-yards before just 60 seconds later completing his treble.
And then must moments later he turned creator once again, as Insigne claimed his second of he game.
That sparked a raft of changes on the hour as Italy brought on nine new players before making a tenth sub later in the match.
Still there was time for Fluminese to pull another back and it was a spectacular effort as Matheus Carvalho curled home beating substitute goalkeeper Antonio Mirante.
Italy kick-off their World Cup campaign against England in Manaus next Saturday.