Wednesday, 18 November 2009

[Azzurri] Chiellini heads Italy to victory

An experimental Italy side defeated Sweden in Cesena thanks to Giorgio Chiellini's first-half goal.

Italy 1-0 SwedenHaving allowed Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta and Andrea Pirlo to return to their clubs following Saturday's draw with the Netherlands, Marcello Lippi gave Davide Biondini and Antonio Candreva their second caps and started with Giampaolo Pazzini up front.

That decision proved to be the right one after 28 minutes when the Sampdoria striker teed up Chiellini to head the Azzurri in front.

The world champions created the first chance of the second period through Pazzini, whose shot was blocked by Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.

Erik Hamren was taking charge of Sweden for the first time following his appointment earlier this month, but his charges were struggling to fashion anything of note and despite several late changes it was Italy who ended 2009 on a high.

The Azzurri, along with the 31 other qualifiers from around the world, will now look forward to the FIFA World Cup final draw which takes place in South Africa on December 4.

World Cup Play-off Results:
Saturday 10 October
Bahrain 0-0 New Zealand
Saturday 14 November
Costa Rica 0-1 Uruguay
Greece 0-0 Ukraine
New Zealand 1-0 Bahrain (Agg: 1-0)
Portugal 1-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Republic of Ireland 0-1 France
Russia 2-1 Slovenia
Wednesday 18 November
Algeria 1-0 Egypt (neutral venue)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-1 Portugal (Agg: 0-2)
France 1-1 Republic of Ireland (AET, Agg: 2-1)
Slovenia 1-0 Russia (Agg: 2-2, Slovenia win on away-goals rule)
Ukraine 0-1 Greece (Agg: 0-1)
Uruguay 1-1 Costa Rica (Agg: 2-1)

World Cup qualifiers:
Saturday 15 May 2004
South Africa (Africa 2010 Hosts).
Saturday 6 June 2009
Japan (Asia Round 4 Group 1), Australia (Asia Round 4 Group 1), South Korea (Asia Round 4 Group 2), Netherlands (Europe Group 9).
Wednesday 17 June 2009
North Korea (Asia Round 4 Group 2).
Saturday 5 September 2009
Brazil (South America).
Sunday 6 September 2009
Ghana (Africa Group D).
Wednesday 9 September 2009
Spain (Europe Group 5), England (Europe Group 6), Paraguay (South America).
Saturday 10 October 2009
Ivory Coast (Africa Group E), Germany (Europe Group 4), Denmark (Europe Group 1), Serbia (Europe Group 7), Italy (Europe Group 8), Chile (South America), Mexico (Concacaf), USA (Concacaf).
Wednesday 14 October 2009
Switzerland (Europe Group 2), Slovakia (Europe Group 3), Argentina (South America), Honduras (Concacaf).
Saturday 14 November 2009
New Zealand (Inter-continental play-off), Nigeria (Africa Group B), Cameroon (Africa Group A).
Wednesday 18 November 2009
Algeria (African play-off), Greece (European play-off), Slovenia (European play-off), Portugal (European play-off), France (European play-off), Uruguay (Inter-continental play-off).

Source: UEFA

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