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 By PA Sport

Portugal hand Antonio Conte first defeat as Italy coach in friendly

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Italy will not be seeded for the upcoming World Cup qualifying draw after a 1-0 friendly defeat to Portugal in Geneva denied them the requisite coefficient points.

Eder's second-half goal was enough to send the Azzurri to their first loss under Antonio Conte, given substitute Franco Vazquez was denied the latest of levellers by Portugal goalkeeper Beto.

Croatia, who held Italy to a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2016 qualifying meeting last week, will now be among the top seeds when groups for reaching Russia 2018 are drawn in St Petersburg on July 25.

Beto got an early feel of the ball when Andrea Pirlo fizzed a ball into his gloves from a free-kick but Italy's radar would malfunction for most of the match.

Ciro Immobile did well to get down the left wing and cut inside to take a shot, but his effort was poor and sailed wide. Andrea Bertolacci soon followed suit with a screamer that whipped past a post.

There was a better effort from Stephan El Shaarawy before the half-hour mark, the AC Milan striker bursting down the left before ripping a curling finish inches wide of the far post.

Portugal hit back with Silvestre Varela testing his aim -- Andrea Ranocchia made the block -- and Salvatore Sirigu struggled to get a grip on Joao Moutinho's header on 36 minutes.

The last opportunity of the half fell to Ricardo Quaresma, who dithered in possession while trying to pick his spot as an assortment of Portugal team-mates begged for the pass.

A sign of promise followed the resumption as Leonardo Bonucci got his head to another Pirlo free-kick and clattered the frame of the goal.

It was a false dawn for Italy, though, as their opponents broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute.

Eliseu beat two men in the midfield before setting up Quaresma for an outside-of-the-boot cross to Eder that the Braga striker turned in for his first international goal.

Italy were sluggish in their response and the only real talking points for Azzurri fans were the introductions of Argentina-born Vazquez and Nicola Sansone, the Sassuolo striker making his debut.

Another substitute, Alessandro Matri, almost levelled from close range two minutes into stoppage-time, with Palermo's Vazquez waiting until the death before drawing Beto into a fingertip save.


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