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Grading USMNT transfers, loans

United States
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By ESPN Staff

Giovinco hailed as saviour of Juventus

MILAN, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Juventus winger Sebastian Giovinco was the real hero in salvaging a 2-2 Champions League draw at Belarus side BATE Borisov on Tuesday, two-goal striker Vincenzo Iaquinta said.

BATE, playing their first home game in the Champions League proper, raced into a surprise 2-0 lead in Minsk to show they are far from whipping boys in Group H.

Juve were heading for the same fate as fellow Serie A side AS Roma, who lost to unheralded Romanians CFR Cluj last month, before 21-year-old Giovinco twice played in Iaquinta with pinpoint balls.

The diminutive midfielder, who impressed at the Beijing Olympics for Italy, is fast pressuring 36-year-old Pavel Nedved for a regular starting berth.

"To have him on the field changes things a lot," Iaquinta told reporters. "He puts some great balls in the middle which we attackers need. He is also a great player."

Juve, who now have four points from two games, have yet to agree a contract extension with the tricky winger but Giovinco said there was nothing to worry about.

"There is no problem. I'll sign soon," he said.

"For now I am only thinking about winning a place in the team. It was a surprise to play. We lacked an understanding in midfield but this will come by playing together."

Fiorentina, Serie A's other Champions League flagbearers on Tuesday, also drew 0-0 at home to Steaua Bucharest in Group F with their Romanian forward Adrian Mutu disappointing against his countrymen.

"I am calm, the goal will come," he told reporters.

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