Tuesday, 27 May 2008

[Olympics 2008] Toulon: Azzurrini reach final

Pierluigi Casiraghi’s Azzurrini side are through to the Final of the Toulon Tournament, but they had to rely on penalty kicks to see off Japan.

Italy’s Olympic warm-up has been going according to plan and Casiraghi’s men were confident after three wins from three in the Group stages in France.

However, Japan posed a serious threat and ensured that it was a nervy evening for their more illustrious opponents.

Catania striker Takayuki Morimoto looked dangerous and Empoli goalkeeper Davide Bassi had to continue his impressive form to deny him in a one-on-one.

Diminutive Juventus playmaker Sebastian Giovinco was on inspirational form again, but Italy couldn’t find a breakthrough.

Davide Lanzafame thought he deserved a penalty when he was brought down in the box towards the end of the 90 minutes, but the game went to extra-time.

Substitute Graziano Pelle looked sharp before the best chance fell to Udinese’s Antonio Candreva, but his header was a whisker away with the goalkeeper beaten.

And so it went to spot kicks and Casiraghi’s side gave a virtuoso display from 12 yards.

Salvatore Bocchetti, Ignazio Abate, Luca Cigarini, Candreva and Giovinco all converted, while Bassi saved one to seal a 5-4 win and a Final date against Chile on Thursday evening.

Italy: Bassi, Coda, Bocchetti, Motta, De Silvestri, Cigarini, Nocerino, Marchisio (Candreva 75), Lanzafame (Pelle 45), Osvaldo (Abate 69), Giovinco.

Pierluigi Casiraghi (Italy coach)
"The match was a difficult one. It was the fourth match in eight days. We missed a lot of opportunities because of the lack rest and freshness. On top of the outcome, I am very happy with the attitude of my players. We tried to win the match throughout. I am satisfied."

27-05-08: Chile 2-1 Ivory Coast
27-05-08: Italy 0-0 Japan (5-4 on pens)


Source: C4 Football Italia

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