Wednesday, 19 November 2008

[Azzurri] Toni earns Italy draw & Lippi record

Greece 1-1 ItalyLuca Toni scored an equalising goal four minutes after Theofanis Gekas' opener as World champions Italy shared the spoils with Greece in Athens.

The home side took the lead after 50 minutes when substitute Gekas scored from the edge of the box with a powerful strike following a clever through ball by Alexandros Tziolis.

The hosts' joy, however, was short-lived as Daniele De Rossi's pinpoint cross was headed in by Toni from close range for his 16th international goal.

Despite a number of injuries, Italy coach Marcello Lippi fielded an experienced starting XI, with the exception of Giuseppe Rossi who was making his first start for the Azzurri.

Gennaro Gattuso and then Rossi both had good efforts saved early on by Alexandros Tzorvas.

After that initial scare, Greece assumed control and came close to scoring the opener when Kostas Katsouranis' header went just wide. Tzorvas was quickly in the thick of the action again after the break, Mauro Camoranesi's long-range effort requiring an impressive double save from the custodian before both sides registered.

Camoranesi and Tzorvas locked horns again soon after that flurry with the midfielder's powerful shot saved brilliantly, before the rhythm of the encounter was disturbed as the two coaches brought on a number of substitutes after the hour.

The draw enabled Lippi to break Vittorio Pozzo's record of 30 consecutive games without defeat as Italy coach and equal the international record of 31 matches, matching the feats of Argentina's Alfio Basile and Javier Clemente of Spain.

He could claim the world record outright in the friendly against Brazil in London on 10 February.

The serious business of World Cup qualifying resumes in the spring as Italy, four time winners, lead Group Eight ahead of the Republic of Ireland with three wins and a draw. Lippi's men, who defeated Montenegro 2-1 in the most recent outing last month, travel to Montenegro for a return match on March 28.

Source: UEFA


  1. it wasn't the best match but i like to congrattulate lippi for beating the record of pozzo.

    we played very poorly and i hope we play much better against brazil.

  2. thanks for the news your blog looks great and i am adding it to my favourite and thanks for the great blog again