Italy sink Czech Republic 2-0 in Group E
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Italy began this Group E fixture knowing a draw would be enough to get into the round of sixteen, Thursday.
Despite having had to replace key central defender Alessandro Nesta, who was injured after 17 minutes, the Azzuri defeated the Czech Republic comfortably.
Italian fortunes were helped when on 46 minutes the Czech Republic had Jan Polak sent off for his second yellow card offense within a 12 minute period before half-time.
Before that Italy had gone ahead with Nesta's substitute rising well to meet and head down Francesco Totti's corner. Marco Materazzi had an exceptional game with Fabio Cannavaro and was awarded Fifa's Man of the Match.
It was thought Alessandro Nesta's groin injury meant he would miss the round of sixteen and possibly any later World Cup matches Italy would play.
For the Czech Republic 33-year-old Pavel Nedved worked very hard for little reward - other than perhaps a showcase final appearance at a World Cup against a very good side.
On 15 minutes Gianluigi Buffon was forced to make a double save from Nedved's drive and Marek Jankulovski's follow-up from a close angle.
In the second half Filippo Inzaghi came on for Alberto Gilardino and on a number of ocasions found himself unmarked behind ten man Czech Republic's lines. He put his first chance - a free header six yards out - wastefully wide but rounded the keeper to score on a breakaway three minutes from time.
The result meant Italy would play the runner-up of Group F in the round of sixteen, while Karel Bruckner's Czech team would check out of their hotels.
|June 22, 2006|
|Italy||2–0||Czech Republic||AOL Arena|
- 01 G Buffon
- 19 G Zambrotta
- 05 F Cannavaro
- 13 A Nesta (Substitution: 17' M Materazzi)
- 03 F Grosso
- 16 M Camoranesi (Substitution: 73' S Barone)
- 21 A Pirlo
- 20 S Perrotta
- 08 G Gattuso 31'
- 10 F Totti
- 11 A Gilardino (Substitution: 60' F Inzaghi)
Fifa World Cup Group E table June 22, 2006
- "Italy 2-0 Czech Republic" — , June 22, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 22, 2006
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