Italy shut out Ghana for 2-0 win in Group E
Monday, June 12, 2006
Italy won its first World Cup match of the 2006 tournament after beating Ghana 2-0 in Hanover, Monday.
The match was notable for being the first time Ghana had played in the World Cup. At 25 years and two months Ghana also had the youngest team at the tournament. In the end the team's inexperience showed in the result.
Italy responded to early Ghanian pressure with forceful passing and aggressive attacks through Luca Toni. At first this effected to keep the fearless Africans, always looking to attack themselves, on the back foot.
With Luca Toni Italy always looked dangerous going forward. On 25 minutes he evaded a defender and rasped a shot onto the underside of the crossbar. It missed going over the goaline by just a yard.
Ratomir Dujkovic's side had the best chance to shock the Azzuri after half an hour. Emmanuel Pappoe had space in the box - but skied his attempt over the bar. For some time it seemed goals might go in at both ends, as action was at one end, then another. But with tiredness Ghana lost some discipline in defence and ran out of ideas in attack.
The challenge of the two superb Italian defenders, Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta, proved too tough. The Italian penalty area was almost impermeable to the white shirts for long stretches.
Ghana found no good opportunities to test Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon partly because Ghana was unable to deliver crosses to target inside the box. Efforts on goal were restricted to shots from outside the box from Michael Essien.
Only four out of Ghana's 14 shots were on target. In contrast Italy had 18 shots; 13 were on target. This tells the story of a game in which two teams attacked a lot, but a vastly superior defence won.
Andrea Pirlo scored the game-winner. On 39 minutes, he received a pass from a corner at the top of the area; in plenty of space, he curled it low and hard into bottom left corner of the net.
Richard Kingston made a number of good saves to keep the Italians ahead by just the one goal but could not do anything about Samuel Kaffour's error on 83 minutes. Kaffour's back pass was too short and Vincenzo Iaquinta rounded Kingston to score.
Earlier, as Ghana got desperate, Asamoah Gyan tried something to unlock the Italian defence: a solo run; powering past blue shirts he got as far as the penalty area. Then he appeared to be fouled by Daniele De Rossi; the referee did not blow his whistle.
Marcelo Lippi, the Italian coach, might feel this game, the second in Group E, was a good work out for the Italians who were just a bit too wise for the Ghana team on this occasion.
|June 12, 2006|
- 01 G Buffon
- 02 C Zaccardo
- 13 A Nesta
- 05 F Cannavaro
- 03 F Grosso
- 10 F Totti (Subsituted: 56' M Camoranesi 62' )
- 20 S Perrotta
- 21 A Pirlo
- 04 D De Rossi 10'
- 9 L Toni (Substituted: 82' A Del Piero )
- 11 A Gilardino (Substitute: 64' V Iaquinta 88' )
- 22 R Kingston
- 15 J Pantsil
- 04 S Kuffour
- 05 J Mensah
- 06 E Pappoe (Substituted: 45' I Shilla )
- 11 S Muntari 41'
- 08 M Essien
- 10 S Appiah
- 18 E Addo
- 03 A Gyan 65' (Substituted: 89' A Tachie-Mensah )
- 14 M Amoah (Substituted: 68' R Pimpong )
- "Italy 2-0 Ghana" — , June 12, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 12, 2006
- This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.
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