Liveblog: Australia vs. Italy
Italy has reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup on a last second penalty kick by Francesco Totti. It was a dramatic game and a tough way for Australia to go home after making the second round of the World Cup for the first time ever. You can read the play-by-play below and leave your thoughts on the game.
Final: Australia 0-1 Italy
Full time Italy makes it to the final 8 after coming away with a late win. Totti scores on a penalty kick in the 94th minute after Grosso fell down in the Australian box and was awarded a questionable penalty kick. Australia played a man up for most of the second half but was unable to crack through the Italian defense.
90+ GOALLLLL! Totti hits it in and Italy is gifted a late game penalty kick goal.
90+ Grosso taken down in the box and he is awarded a penalty kick for falling over an Australian defender. Oh My.
90+ Zambrotta booked for delaying the game. He has had himself an excellent game like he normally does.
90+ Aloisi tries for a bicycle and I’ve seen trees fall quicker. He kicks himself in the head. That would have been an awesome goal but you need to kick it to score. Three minutes of injury.
88:23 Iaqunita and Neill wrestle in the Australian end as tempers are starting to flare. Would be a bad time to pick up a card and that is exactly what Gattuso does as he is shown a yellow.
86:12 It is all Australia in terms of possession but the Italian defense is hanging tough a man down. Australia with two subs left, Italy with one.
83:56 Bresciano with a striker from his left foot that sails over the bar. Starting to sweat bullets here and my compurter isn’t happy.
83:45 If this one ends in a tie after 90 we go to 2, 15-minute overtime periods followed by penalty kicks. Looks increasingly like that is where we are headed but there is still a lot of time for either team to score.
81:31 Alosi for Mile Sterjovski as Hiddink looks for a late game goal.
80:13 Australia corner is headed over the bar by Cahill who would like to get another chance at that one. He won’t though. That is how the rules are.
79:49 Australia playing a man up but you would never know it when they reach the Italy box as the line of blue shirts is always there. Cahill tries to turn it and he gets a corner.
77:58 The referee has been quite other than the inexplicable red card to Italy at the start of the second half. Not an especially physical game. Viduka and Cahill working hard but not able to get it done.
76:12 Italy stood up by the Australia defense which has also had a solid game. Viduka comes in on Buffon and the ref thinks that isn’t legit and he is probably right.
74:21 Totti coming in for Italy as the crowd goes nuts. Del Piero out after a very quiet game.
72:32 Italy might be a man down but they haven’t been chasing much and that might help fight the fatigue factor. Not an especially hot day in Germany but both coaches have some subs to use.
70:52 It is a late night for many in Australia but they are wide awake right now. The Socceroos just haven’t found the secret plan to getting it on goal. Will Hiddink bring in some help from the bench? He does have Aloisi and Kennedy.
68:23 Italy a man down and the game still tied at zero. The winner will face the winner of today’s Switzerland-Ukraine match. The next twenty minutes are going to eat away at a lot of fans insides. My insides are full of beer so I am safe.
67:25 Viduka with a lack of touches in this game. There are some countries that don’t have as well organized millitaries as Italy’s backline.
65:34 Del Piero takes a few steps and falls over. He gets the free kick for Italy. Schwarzer forced to tip the Pierlo shot over the goal and Australia clears the corner.
64:23 Italy able to spring a counter but the Gattuso pass is off the mark. That might be Italy’s only hope for a goal playing a man down. Catch the Australia defense while it is forward.
62:49 The game being played in the Australia offensive half. Lippi looking like his hair is growing more and more gray by the moment. Italy’s backline standing tall and firm. Australia showing lots of patience.
61:15 Yellow card shown to Wilkshire for a dangeous receding hairline.
60:21 Public service announcement: we are liveblogging every game and no amount of red cards will stop us. Come on by later on for the Ukraine and Switzerland match. Someone has to win so that will be reason enough to watch.
58:34 Chipperfield with a turn and a boot that is saved by Buffon. Nice shot from Chipperfield who is having an excellent game. Buffon showing why he is one of the best around.
57:23 Interesting that in the comments below some are already predicting penalty shoot outs. Certainly Italy has played the type of game that is going to keep it low scoring but we are a long way from this one ending in a scoreless draw. One mistake either way could be the difference as could the referee again.
55:12 They could boot off three of Italy’s players and the defence would still be all over the box. Luca Toni coming out after a game full of missed chances and in comes Andrea Barzagli for defensive help. Not that they need any.
54:15 Italy now forced to play even more of a defensive formation with a man down. Iaquinta proves me wrong by taking a ball and booting it well in to the stands. Can the Socceroos take advantage of this gift from the Spanish ref?
52:26 The referee had been quiet in this one but he has come in and changed the game with a very questionable red card against Italy. That might have been a yellow at best. Now Italy down a man for 40 minutes.
50:04 Red card shown to Materazzi as he is charged with taking down Bresciano outside the box. A very harsh red if you ask me.
49:12 Cahill shown a card for saying some nasty words to the referee. Oh the horror. Dude needs to keep his trap shut.
48:42 What does Guus Hiddink have left up his sleeves? His substitutions in previous games have been huge but his bench is depleted this game. Luca Toni with another shot in the box but he has failed to grasp that the object is to get it in the goal and not over it. Toni is all over the place.
46:58 Italy seemingly with 35 players in the box at all times. Their backline is like a fortress. Very impressive defensive play.
45:34 Iaquinta in for Gilardino for Italy. The other 21 players are the same as is your liveblogger. My condolences.
45:01 We are back underway in Kaiserslautern with a spot in the quarter-finals at stake. Can Australia pull off the surprise and knock off Italy or will the Azzurri take their usual spot in the final 8? Chances are we’ll learn the answer in the next 45-75 minutes. Thanks for stopping by. Your comments are great and your presence much appeciated. I’m drinking a Paulaner Hefeweizen in your honor.
More halftime: Some stats from halftime. Australia led possession 54-46%. Italy had three shots on goal, Australia 2 shots on goal. Both teams with 11 fouls and one caution. Italy with one corner kick, Australia with none. Fairly even but Italy did have the better scoring opportunities in my opinion.
Halftime After 45 minutes of play in Kaiserslautern we are knotted at zero. Australia had the advantage in possession, while Italy had a few more chances on goal. Both sides are probably fairly satisfied where things stand at this point. I’m off to learn that Australia is a different country than Austria. I’ll be back at the start of the second half. Go ahead and leave your thoughts on the first half.
43:38 Italy has started booting it around a bit more towards the end of the half but remains in a solid defensive formation. A faily even first half from my vantage point with Italy having slightly more chances.
41:45 Moore takes out Toni’s legs and that one is not given a card although it probably should have been one. Toni is able to walk it off but he’ll feel worse than a dehydrated stinky fingered liveblogger in the morning.
40:34 Toni flicks it on to Gilardino whose boot is just off the ball in front of the goal. He takes a nap on the ground holding his wonderful hair while showing unhappiness with himself.
39:02 At this point Australia has to be pleased not to be losing but they probably should be concerned about finding a way to crack the Azzurri defense. Italy showing great patience and might be thinking that one goal will win it for them.
37:18 Grosso does a little hip check and gets whistled for it. He then does that wonderful finger waving move that indicates that the referee would be well advized to never show up at his house uninvited.
35:34 Guus Hiddink looking unperturbed on the sideline. Lippi looking like he might have an a heart attack. The ulcers are evident on both men. Cahill not able to create much on his own.
33:47 Toni again with a volley in the box but it is blocked away by an Australia defender. Both players doing well and Toni gets his head on another one but sends it over. Toni with a lot of chances but unable to score.
32:01 Italy patiently building the attack but the Socceroos defense stands up tall. This is one of those fast paced game where the build up seemingly takes forever. Referee not affecting the play and we are getting to see a nice roll around. Tough for a liveblogger but easy on the eyes.
29:46 Chippefield takes a bouncing ball and drills it on goal but Buffon saves it and is able to pounce on it before there is a rebound. Close effort and nice save.
28:46 Yellow card to Fabio Grosso who has a hard time believing a human being could fall down after such a love tap.
27:39 Australia lacking a bit of confidence in the final third. Italy extremely well organized in the back. This is not going to be a high scoring affair. I’m usually wrong so let’s hope that is the case.
25:14 Austalia leading 58-42% in possession but still scoreless on the board. I think I have seen Italy play this type of game about a hundred times. Not beautiful but effective.
23:12 Vince Grella gets a yellow for Australia. He mutters under his breath and being a family blog I won’t type what he said. Viduka gets his large cranium on a set piece but Buffon is there.
21:50 Great turn from Luca Toni who blasts it from inside the areas and Schwarzer makes an excellent kick save.
21:35 No cards, a few shots and a lot of ball control by Australia. That sums up the first 20 minutes.
19:59 Gilardino with a nifty scissors kick from the top of the box but Schwarzer is up to the save.
19:52 Gattuso falls on his backside for no reason as Australia continues to roll the ball and Italy stands around admiring the passing.
17:59 Australia with a thrown in deep in the Italy end. A sea of blue in the box as Italy continues to play a very defensive game.
16:58 Did you know that Fabio Cannavaro was voted “sexiest” World Cup player in a recent Internet poll? Stay tuned to World Cup Blog tomorrow to learn the top 10. Still nothing much happening.
15:23 For those who like to jump ahead 105 minutes, Italy has taken part in 9 penalty shoot outs in World Cup history, the most of any team. My fingers are hoping that won’t be the case but would be exciting.
13:47 Toni gets crunched by Chipperfield but it is a clean tackle. Chipperfield off to a strong start while neither offense able to find the right combination.
12:24 Hiddink looking like an airline pilot in a tie on the sideline. Lippi more casual. Another opportunity by Italy in the box but Australia’s defense is up to the task.
11:02 Both teams playing under control and we have yet to see much in the way of physical play and/or flopping. Kind of refreshing even though there isn’t much action.
9:45 Bresciano must go through a lot of sunscreen to keep that chrome dome from getting burned. I like him as a player. Cahill disagreeing after a poor pass.
9:04 Italy looks content to sit back and wait for the countering opportunities. Australia controlling the ball but unable to do much when the push forward. Viduke and Cahill are surrounded by blue shirts.
7:12 Italy’s Gilardino dances around in the box but fails to get off a shot. He sure had a lot of touches in the area before being dispossessed.
5:47 A couple of soft whistles but no hard fouls or cards to this point. The sun drenched field in Kaiserslautern provides a great backdrop for this match. Both teams feeling each other out like a liverblogger punching away at a keyboard.
4:23 Who is this Mitilda person and why are we waltzing with her?
3:34 On the other end Luca Toni skies high for a cross and heads it wide. Excellent chance for Italy.
2:45 Australia rolling it around like they are Brazil. Cahill gets his head on a cross but it doesn’t make magic.
1:34 The chants of “Italia” ring out as neither team does a darn thing. The game has begun but you wouldn’t know it yet.
0:34 Australia starts off with the ball and possession. Italy looking very happy to sit back and wait for the attack.
Kickoff: We’re underway in Kaiserslautern with Australia taking on Italy. The winner has a spot reserved for them in the quarter-finals. The loser gets a one-way ticket home. Thanks for joining me today. Your comments are appreciated. Keep them clean, have fun and love one another. The World Cup only happens once every four years so let’s enjoy the heck out of it.
3 minute countdown: Australia’s turn to sing loud and proud. The players are not afraid to belt it out like it is a barroom tune. They look nervous. Can’t blame them. I always get a pit in my stomach before kickoff when I liveblog.
5 minute countdown: The national anthem of Italy is played. It is a jolly tune sung shoulder to shoulder by the Italian players who all sport varying degrees of hair length. The kid escort are jumping for joy.
7 minute countdown: The two teams are lined up in the tunnel and doing their best to try to ignore one another. Italy is dressed in its traditional blue with white shots. Australia in yellow with green shorts. Viduka the Australian captain and Cannavaro wearing the armband for Italy.
10 minute countdown: They just showed highlights of Guss Hiddink’s South Korea team knocking off Italy in 2002. South Korean fans can complain about the officiating in their loss to Switzerland this year, but they got some real gifts four years ago. I’m hoping that after yesterday’s fiasco the referee does not play a huge role in this match, but somehow I think he might.
15 minute countdown: Looks like there is a good mix of Australia yellow and Italy blue in the stands. Have to think that the neutral fans will likely get behind the Socceroos, especially as the game wears on. Whatever company makes inflatible kangeroos is making a killing this World Cup.
20 minute countdown: It is excellent to read the comments about the excitement people are feeling in Australia. The Socceroos don’t face the pressure or the expectations that Italy does, but you can bet an entire continent is hoping for a big win today. The weather in Kaiserslautern is a plesant 22C/73F and the turf is inexplicably being described as wet although I can tell you it looks dry and the sun is out.
25 minute countdown: Interesting to see that Italy is not starting Francesco Totti. He has not been especially effective this World Cup but I’d still expect to see him get the start in a knockout stage game. Luca Toni will have to assume the role of the player who is always offside. Today’s liveblog beer of choice is the tasty Czech lager Budvar, which shouldn’t be confused with its bastard stepchild in the US.
30 minute countdown: Here are the 11 heroes and the 11 villains that will entertain us from the start. You choose which is which. Australia will be without Tony Popovich and Harry Kewell who are both out with injury. Brett Emerton is suspended for the Socceroos, while Italy will not have Daniele De Rossi because of suspension and Alessandro Nesta because of injury. It is worth noting that Italy has two players named “Fabio”. I’ve never met a Fabio.
1. Mark Schwarzer, 2. Lucas Neill, 3. Craig Moore, 4. Tim Cahill, 5. Jason Culina, 9. Mark Viduka, 13. Vincenzo Grella, 14. Scott Chipperfield, 20. Luke Wilkshire, 21. Mile Sterjovski, 23. Mark Bresciano
1. Gianluigi Buffon, 3. Fabio Grosso, 5. Fabio Cannavaro, 7. Alessandro Del Piero, 8. Ivan Gennaro Gattuso, 9. Luca Toni, 11. Alberto Gilardino, 19. Gianluca Zambrotta, 20. Simone Perrotta, 21. Andrea Pirlo, 23. Marco Materazzi
40 minute countdown: In 2002, Guus Hiddink’s South Korea team eliminated Italy in the second round. Today, the Dutch master is hoping for a similar result from his Australia side. Italy reached this point with a different style of play in all three of its first round games. Today they face an Australia team that has garnered a reputation for being physical. The referee for today’s match is from Spain and he could have his hands full. My hands are too blistered to be full so a livebloggin’ we will go. Starting lineups next.
50 minute countdown: Today we will see an interesting match feature two very different football nations. A spot in the final 16 is expected for Italy, but it is new territory for Australia which is making its first World Cup appearance since 1974. It is cooler today here in Berlin and my fingers have come unglued from the keyboard. Looking forward to sharing the action with you. Starting lineups and beer selection coming up soon.
Pregame: Who is going to win?