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Historic Haiti rallies for Italy draw

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Olrish Saurel and Jean Philippe Peguero struck in the final five minutes as Haiti rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie Italy, 2-2, in an international friendly Tuesday at Sao Januario Stadium.

The match, a fundraiser for those affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, was the second meeting between the two countries. In the 1974 World Cup, Emmanuel Sanon put Haiti in front just after halftime, but Gianni Rivera, Romeo Benetti and Pietro Anastasi scored for the Azzurri in the 3-1 victory in Munich.

In its final tune-up before taking on Mexico in the FIFA Confederations Cup, Italy needed just 14 seconds to take the lead as Emanuele Giaccherini ran onto Mattia De Sciglio's cross and the Juventus midfielder hammered it past Haitian goalkeeper Frandy Montrevil from six meters.

When Claudio Marchisio easily tapped in the rebound of Stephan El Shaarawy's saved shot in the 73rd minute following an impressive buildup, the Italians appeared to be in full control.

But Saurel scored from the penalty spot in the 85th minute, blasting the ball to the left of Italian goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu after Mourice Geen was taken down by Davide Astori.

Peguero then collected a long ball off his chest, fended off a defender and beat Sirigu with a low shot inside the far post in the second minute of second half stoppage time as Haiti rallied for a draw with the four-time World Cup champions.

The Haitians are preparing for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup. They are in Group B with Honduras, El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago.

 
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