2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

9 June - 9 July

2006 FIFA World Cup™

ITALY 1-0 AUSTRALIA

An injury-time penalty from substitute Francesco Totti took ten-man Italy past Australia and into the last eight of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Kaiserslautern on Monday, 26 June 2006.

Totti, a 75th-minute replacement for Alessandro Del Piero, drove the spot-kick high into the net after Fabio Grosso had gone down under a Lucas Neill challenge just seconds before the final whistle.

Italy had been reduced to ten men following Marco Materazzi's red card five minutes into the second half and at that stage their followers might have feared a repeat of their loss to Guus Hiddink's Korea Republic at this stage four years ago. Instead, Totti's strike leaves the Azzurri looking forward to a quarter-final tie against either Switzerland or Ukraine in Hamburg on Friday.

As for Hiddink's Australia team, they can head for home proud of their performance in Germany, having reached the Round of 16 on their first outing on the world stage in 32 years.

The match:

4': Mark Schwarzer, playing on his old club ground, returned to the Australia goal after being left out against Croatia and his goal came under threat early on. Luca Toni met a cross from the left but his header from the edge of the six-yard box went inches past the goalkeeper's left-hand post.

7': In a lively start, Alberto Gilardino attacked down the left and was poised to shoot when Craig Moore produced an excellent challenge.

18': Both sides settled after the early flurry of activity. Italy looking impenetrable, Australia firm in the challenge any time the ball was anywhere near a danger area.

22': Both sides settled after the early flurry of activity but the next opening was again at the Australian end. A fine ball from Andrea Pirlo picked out Toni but the striker's low shot after a sharp turn was saved by the legs of Schwarzer.

24': Gianluigi Buffon had his first touch of note soon after as Viduka rose high to meet a free-kick but it was a simple save for the Italy goalkeeper.

29': Australia came within a whisker of taking the lead when Neill flicked on a free-kick and Scott Chipperfield brought an instinctive save from Buffon with a low drive from 13 yards.

34': Following a good spell for the southern hemisphere side, two chances fell to Toni: first he had a shot blocked, then he headed over from close range.

41': The Azzurri threatened again as Toni stretched to reach a right-wing cross in front of goal, but failed to make contact.

Marching orders for Materazzi

48':There was an early chance for Italy when play resumed, but Toni shot well over.

50': As play switched quickly to the other end, Materazzi lunged in with a challenge on Marco Bresciano some five yards outside the penalty area and the Internazionale defender was immediately shown the red card. From the resultant free-kick Chipperfield shot wide.

55': Marcello Lippi decided he could not afford the luxury of leaving two strikers on and restored his defence to full strength by replacing Toni with Palermo defender Andrea Barzagli.

58': The Australians kept pushing forward and Chipperfield, latching onto a short ball from Neill, forced another save from Buffon.

63': Italy wasted a good chance on the break when Gennaro Gattuso overhit a ball intended for the unmarked Del Piero after a quick break caught Australia short in numbers in defence.

80': The hold-up play of Viduka and the trickery of Tim Cahill had caused problems throughout the game and the Australia midfielder only just cleared the crossbar with a header from a corner.

85': From substitute John Aloisi's cross, Viduka almost carved out a chance on the edge of the six-yard box but Buffon intervened. Hesitancy in the Australia defence moments later let in Vincenzo Iaquinta but he mishit his shot from some eight yards out.

89': From a right-wing cross, Aloisi went for a spectacular winner but an attempted overhead kick failed as he missed the ball.

90+4': Eight seconds from the end of the game Grosso broke into the Australia box and went to ground under Neill's tackle, and referee Luis Medina Cantalejo pointed to the penalty spot. Schwarzer went the right way, but Totti beat him with a powerful drive. (0-1)

In conclusion:

Heartbreak for an Australia side who produced one of their best performances on the international stage. But credit to Italy who for standing firm when down to ten men for the majority of the second half.

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