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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Andrea Pirlo curls in a free kick almost as delicious as his beard

The maestro put Italy ahead against Mexico and Mario Balotelli had a part to play in a 2-1 win.

ITALY’S MIDFIELD MAESTRO Andrea Pirlo curled in a stunning free-kick to give his side the lead in their Confederations Cup encounter with Mexico.

The Juventus star stepped up to the placed ball on 26 minutes and unleashed a lovely free-kick that careened into the top corner. The bearded wonder was delighted with his effort and leapt high in the air with clenched fists before teammates caught up for a good, old-fashioned celebrate.

YouTube credit: Ozico7

Mexico levelled matters six minutes later when Javier Hernandez coolly dispatched a penalty after sending goalkeeper Gigi Buffon the wrong way. The game is tied at 1-1 after 45 minutes.

The game looked to be heading for a draw when Mario Balotelli outmuscled his marker and swept in the winning goal. Mexico pressed for another equaliser but the four-time world champions held out for a 2-1 victory.

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Patrick McCarry

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