Jermain Defoe's stunning 80th minute strike helped England begin their preparations for their World Cup qualifying campaign and exact revenge for their exit at Euro 2012 by beating Italy in Berne.

Roy Hodgson's side were defeated on penalties by Italy in the quarter finals of the European Championship, but an inexperienced squad which included five debutants produce the perfect repost in the Swiss capital.

Italy's captain on the night, Daniele de Rossi had put Cesare Prandelli's side ahead with a looping header, but Phil Jagileka diving effort levelled the scores before half-time,

A cagier second half disrupted by substitutions followed, before Defoe produced a timely piece of quality to snatch victory, smashing into the top corner from the edge of the area.

The victory works as ideal preparation ahead of the start of England's World Cup qualifying campaign which starts against Moldova and Ukraine next month, with Hodgson able to experiment with an alternative system to the 4-4-2 which look perdestrian during the summer finals.

Jermain Defoe
Defoe's stunning effort settled the match.

Hodgson's untested squad, without the likes of Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney were looking to act revenge for their last eight defeat at the hands of the Italians by claiming a first victory over the Azzuri in 15 years.

Jack Butland and Tom Cleverley were both handed debuts from the start while Michael Carrick won his first cap for three years as the Italians fielded a similarly inexperienced side as Cesare Prandelli opted to experiment ahead of his side's own qualifying campaign.

However, any hopes England had of seeking revenge for their elimination from Euro 2012 took a blow as skipper De Rossi flicked his header beyond Butland in Italy's first foray into the attacking third after 15 minutes.

Having missed out on the summer finals in Poland and Ukraine, Frank Lampard, who captained England, was looking to reinstate himself as first choice in midfield, and it was his corner which found the head of Jagielka to level the scores before the half hour.

The Chelsea midfielder then looked to make a more telling contribution during the remainder of the half, forcing Salvatore Sirigu to parry twice from range, before his free-kick brushed the roof of the net.

At the break John Ruddy was handed his international debut as he replaced Butland, while Jermaine Defoe came on for the ineffectual Andy Carroll.

Phil Jagielka
Jagielka nodded England level before the half hour mark.

The Norwich City stopper was forced into action early in the second half, with Mattia Destro turning on a sixpence with Ruddy pushing the ball away before the Roma striker played in Federico Peluso who could only find the side netting.

Following the introductions of James Milner, Joleon Lescott and Jake Livermore for his England debut, Hodgson's side grew as a force with Gary Cahill seeing his volley ruled out for a foul.

Lescott should then have put England ahead on the night after Peluso's forced his own goalkeeper Sirigu into a save, with Lescott guilty of then hitting the post instead of converting from two yards.

Ryan Bertrand became the fifth player to earn their England debut, and was called into action instantly as he cleared the ball off the line, and from the break England crucially hit the front as Milner fed Defoe, who ran in behind before cutting back to unleash a stunning shot from 20 yards, which Sirigu could only parry into the top corner.

And the Tottenham Hotspur striker's 16th international goal was enough to ensure Hodgson's tenure as England boss continued in a successful manner.