Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Australia had best of the play in the game but did not fashion the good chances Italy had. Even after they were down to ten men the Azzurri crafted more shots and shots on target than the Socceroos.
The game was played at a slow pace in bright sunshine with both teams willing to attack. Australia had the vast majority of ball possession in the game, a fact that increased after Marco Materazzi was shown a straight red card.
Australia looked to have gained an advantage when Marco Bresciano surged through the Italy defence and Materazzi slid in to trip him up. Though there was an Italy defender on Bresciano's shoulder, Spainish referee Luis Medina Cantelejo seemed to consider the challenge worth more than a single yellow card.
Italy were down to ten men, but Australia did not solve their defence.
Both sides had a number of good opportunities to score but in space in the area hit shots too close to the goalkeepers. The best save of the game was made by Mark Schwarzer from a Luca Toni effort after 20 minutes when he saved with his legs while also allowing for a shot the opposite way.
Guus Hiddink delayed making attacking substitutions against ten-men Italy possibly to consider the impact of extra time on both team's fitness. Hiddink's first, John Aloisi, came on 80 minutes while Marcello Lippi by that time had made three, including the crucial one of Totti five minutes earlier.
In the attack Totti was a straight swap for Alessandro Del Piero, a fresh pair of legs which ensured Italy were a threat on the break right until the end of the regular period of play.
The penalty kick was won by Fabio Grosso five minutes into added time. To the right side of Schwarzer's goal Grosso was obstructed by Lucas Neill. The central defender had fallen to the ground early and Grosso, though not tripped, was impeded and fell over him. Medina awarded the penalty.
Totti, dropped from the game in favour of Del Piero, grinned slightly as he placed the ball on the spot. Firmly struck high to the right of Schwarzer it was the last kick of the game and the Italians celebrated.
The prize was a quarter-final match against the lowest ranked FIFA team in their half of the knock-out tree, Ukraine."
Italy win with last kick against Australia; into quarter-finals - Wikinews