Sunday, June 24, 2012

England 2 - 4 Italy (penalties) UPDATED

A very balanced half until now, where both teams could have opened the score. Italy seems to have more control of the game while England are operating from the counter-attack. Italy started well, when a magnificent shot by Daniele de Rossi hit the post. England responded well when James Milner found Glen Johnson in the box but his saved was miraculously saved by Buffon. England had another chance when Buffon cleared badly but the shot from Scott Parker ended wide. England continued pressing and with a cross from Johnson saw the header of Rooney, but it went over the bar. Balotelli was presented with 2 chances but both shots were saved by Joe Hart. England finally had a chance from a counter attack, but Rooney should have done much better, as his weak cross was anticipated easily by Italy's defense.


2nd half

Both teams were happy with a draw, with Italy being more adventurous, but not too many chances were created. England started well, with Milner from the wing but his cross was not that good, and eventually it was cleared by the Italian defense. Italy could have scored when Hart saved a shot, Balotelli with a rebound was also saved by Hart, and then Montolivo shot over the ball. That could have been easily 1-0 for Italy. Both teams tried something early in the half, but then both teams were content with a draw with few chances in the match. The main problem for England came always from Pirlo as he was always alone in the pitch, and we all know what Pirlo is capable of. Milner and Welbeck then made way for Carroll and Walcott. England had a chance from Young as he won a ball in the box but his shot was deflected in a corner by Italy's defense. Walcott did not enter the game as he barely touched a ball. There was a scare from England when Gerrard appeared injured, but he only had cramps. Balzaretti went down with a challenge with Parker, but he made a lot of fuss out of nothing. Italy had a chance with Nocerino but his shot was blocked by Johnson. England in the last seconds could have scored when a cross by Cole was met by a header of carroll, and Rooney with an acrobatic kick fired over.


Both teams appeared tired, and both teams knew that penalties are going to separate them. Parker was substituted in the first half of extra-time as he was tired. Maggio was shown a yellow card, which means that he will miss next game of Italy. Rooney had a chance from a counter-attack, but he was closed down with no England player offering support. Italy had a chance from a free-kick, but Balotelli shot went way over the bar. Italy had a goal disallowed for off-side, with replays showing that the decision was a correct one. The match will go to penalties as anticipated by many fans.


Balotelli - scored
Gerrard - scored
Montolivo - out
Rooney - scored
Pirlo - scored
Young - hit the bar
Nocerino - scored
Cole - saved
Diamanti - scored

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