Home National team Georgia 1:3 Italy
Georgia 1:3 Italy
National Team
Written by Tornike   
Thursday, 12 October 2006 01:21

{mosimage}10-man Georgia lost against the World Champions - Italy in the qualifying match for the Euro 2008 tournament. Georgians played on a level before the red card of a midfielder Jaba Kankava.

At the beginning Daniele De Rossi and Fabio Cannavaro got in each other's way for an early header and the Azzurri were repeatedly caught offside by the Georgian defence, marshalled by Georgia captain Kakhaber Kaladze.

The breakthrough for italians came when Daniele De Rossi opened the scoring in the 16th minute when his low drive from 25 metres bounced mercilessly in front of the goalkeeper to slot in at the far post.{mosimage}

Lomaia performed an excellent save moments later on Di Natale's volley from a chipped Andrea Pirlo free kick, but it wouldn't have counted as he was offside.

Georgia refused to be intimidated and their efforts paid dividends eight minutes later. A set-piece was not cleared effectively and  Giorgi Shashiashvili equalised for the home side, beating Gianluigi Buffon with a great curving shot into the top corner from just inside the penalty box.

{mosimage}Pirlo's free kick was met by Nesta, whose deflected header went over the bar. Luca Toni on 34 minutes chested down the ball with his back to goal and spun roud for a half-volley that shaved the upright. The Fiorentina hitman missed a much easier chance moments later. Zambrotta ran into the area and pulled back for Toni, who incredibly slashed his finish wide.

De Rossi lined up another screamer, but this time Khizaneishvili was ready and rushed out to charge him down. Di Natale's cross reached Toni only for the glancing header to go wide of the target.

Yet it was Georgia who could so easily have gone into the half-time break leading 2-1. On 44 minutes  Zurab Khizanishvili hit a powerful strike from 20 metres that cannoned off the base of the upright with Buffon motionless.{mosimage}

Georgia were more attacking after the break, but Kankava picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Pirlo and was sent off on the hour mark. Less than a minute later, Italy took full advantage to restore their lead. Di Natale went down the left flank and his cross found Camoranesi totally unmarked for a free header into the bottom near corner.

10 minutes later Italy made it 3:1. Zambrotta started the move, again down the left, and cut back for Toni. He missed the ball, but Camoranesi put it back in for Simone Perrotta which scored the third goal.

"Coming here and winning seems easy. But nothing is easy. In fact, there were moments when we struggled," Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said. "We did well to stay patient and pull out the victory, even if it helped us with them a man down."

{mosimage}Klaus Toppmoeller blamed the red card for the team's defeat. "I told the referee after the match that Kankava's foul didn't warrant even a yellow card".

"But I'm happy with our play. We were on equal terms with such a strong team like Italy until that red card. We also controlled the game until their first goal and we were unlucky not to score the second late in the first half." the German added.

   Georgia 1:3 Italy

0:1 De Rossi (16 min.) 1:1 Shashiashvili (24 min.) 1:2 Camoranesi (61 min.) 1:3 Perrotta (71 min.)

{mosimage}Georgia: Lomaia; Khizaneishvili, Khizanishvili, Kaladze, Shashiashvili; Menteshashvili, Kankava, Tskitishvili (Kandelaki 75), Kvirkvelia; Martsvaladze (Gigiadze 86), Ashvetia (Iashvili 69)

{mosimage}Italy: Buffon; Oddo, Nesta, Cannavaro (Materazzi 74), Zambrotta; Pirlo (Mauri 62), De Rossi, Camoranesi (Iaquinta 87), Perrotta, Di Natale; Toni

Referee: Riley (Eng)

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 October 2006 18:03