Italy clinche quaification in the last minute!!

True to Italian style, Italy grabbed a late winner in Scotland from a Cristian Panucci goal that ensured qualification for both of last year's World Cu'p finalists. The French were in need of an Azzurri win to see them through to the Euro 2008, their biggest enemies (Italy) have now become their saviours. After months of claiming that the Italians are cheats and verbally abusing the Azzurri they now need to thank the Azzurri and apologise for their unacceptable behaviour.

But back to the game!

Luca Toni once again got on the score sheet against Scotland; Di Natale turned the defender and passed the ball to Toni where he toe poked the ball into the net in the first minute. The perfect start for Donadoni's men.

Italy continued to press and had a perfect Di Natale goal disallowed. Not one of the Azzurri players were offside during that run of play but Gonzalez's linesman was way off during the whole game with TWO shocking decisions going in favour of Scotland. The ref had one shocker of a game!

However, the Scots continued to push for their Euro dream and in the last minute of the first half their best chance of that half was cleared off the line by an Andrea Pirlo header. The Milan midfielder saving Buffon and Italy.

In the second half, Scotland found themselves level through their Captain Ferguson who lifted the whole country into life as qualification was looking slightly more possible. Another error by the linesman helped the Scots once more.

But what goes around comes around and Italy finally had something go in their favour as what was a foul by Cheillini on Hudson saw Italy receive a free-kick. The great Pirlo stood up to take the kick and his ball found the head of an unmarked Cristian Panucci who found the back of the net in the last minute of the game. Italy's oldest player netting his third national goal.

An important victory for Donadoni that will ensure his spot on the bench for a while longer and he did what looked impossible at the beginning of this year. When Italy last won the World Cup they failed to qualify for the Euro but like Lippi broke Italy's duck on penalties Donadoni did this.

The win is also dedicated to Grabielle Sandri who died last weekend; his death was followed by a sad week once again for Italian football. But this victory was the least could have done for him and his family. Once again the Azzurri were left to out Italian football back on track.


ginkers said…
I feel this is the right place to post this piece of statto trivia. Christian Panucci's strike came almost exactly 15 years to the day after he scored a goal which helped beat Scotland Under 21s in Motherwell.

It is an easy game to remember as all the goalscorers were called Christian. Vieri and Panucci for Italy, Dailly for Scotland. 18 November 1992.
Milanista said…
Wow interesting fact! Thanks Ginkers, I won't forget that one!
It was fantastic seeing him score

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