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Euro 2008

13.06.2008 20:13

Italy’s hopes still alive in European Cup


Zambrotta’s team keeps their hopes alive in the European Cup after an intense offensive clash with Romania. Mutu and Panucci were the authors of the two goals.

On his last day as a Barça player, Gianluca Zambrotta came out in Roberto Donadoni’s starting 11 in Italy’s important survival tie against Romania. After Italy’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Holland, the Italian coach made five changes to the starting line-up, but with Zambrotta being unaffected.

Ital ians take initiative

Romania nearly scored in the opening moments of the game, but Italy were quick to react and during the first 15 minutes they had various chances, with Del Piero nearly scoring in the 19th minute,

Attacking play

Then it was Romania’s turn to respond, with Mutu and Chivu producing great saves from Bufon. Both teams kept up their attacking pace during the first half, but Grosso, Perrota and Luca Toni were unable to strike home the centres from Zambrotta and Camoranesi. Toni finally headed the ball home from Gianluca Zambrotta's cross just before the interval, only to have the goal ruled offside.

From a 0-0 to a 1-1 draw

rumania_celebracio.jpgIn the 54th minute, Mutu broke the deadlock by scoring after intercepting a back-header from Zambrotta to Buffon, putting Italy temporarily out of the European Cup. But Italy needed only a minute to respond, with Panucci touching in Chielleni’s header in the 55th minute.

Exciting second half

buffon.jpgAfter Italy made it all square, the game opened up with both teams creating chances. Romania’s best opportunities came from Nicolai and Mutu. Lobont put in an excellent performance to prevent Italy taking the lead, and Buffon’s moment of glory came in the 79th minute, when he saved a penalty from Mutu.

Italy’s hopes still alive

Both teams continued attacking till the end, including a shot from Goian which produced a brilliant save from Buffon, but they were unable to break the 1-1 deadlock. Yet despite the draw, Italy can still qualify for the next round.
Italy’s hopes still alive in European Cup
Match statistics
Italy, 1
Romania, 1

Italy: Buffon, Panucci, Grosso, Chiellini, Del Piero (Quagliarella), Toni, De Rossi, Camoranesi (Ambrosini), Zambrotta, Perrota (Cassano), Pirlo.

Romania: Lobont, Contra, Rat, Chivu, Radoi (Dica), Petre (Nicolita), Codrea, Mutu (Cocis), Goian, D. Niculae

Goals: 1-0 m. 54 Mutu
1-1 m. 55 Panucci

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