Italy claim narrow win
© Foto-net

Italy were made to work hard for the three points they gained over a resolute Thailand side in the opening match of Group B at the Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro today.

Despite taking the initiative by alternating lively strikers Sandro Zanetti and Adriano Foglia up front, the Azzurri found it difficult to turn the possession they had into chances, being frustrated time and time again by a tight Thai defence and some excellent goalkeeping from Surapong Tompa.

Indeed, the East Asians had the first real chance of the game, hitting the post following a counterattack.

The only goal of the game came five minutes before half-time, Grana keeping his cool to dispatch the ball into the net. However, Thailand responded well and Prasert Innui had three wonderful chances to equalize in the first half, but squandered them all.

The pick of these came from the penalty spot, which he cannoned off the post.

The second half saw Panomkorn Saisorn sent off for two yellow cards as Italy hung on for victory.