Monday, 12th June 2006
Ghana's Gung Ho Attitude Not Enough
Italy vs Ghana
Italy and Ghana have never met before the Germany 2006 World Cup Finals.
Italy and Ghana, having watched the Czech Republic cruise to a three goal win over the USA
earlier, will both know that a draw here will not be enough; although a point against
Italy might please Ghana, on their first-time World Cup Finals appearance.
Ghana kicked-off and showed that they could pass the ball around as
good as the Italians.
With Francesco Totti sitting in behind Luca Toni and Alberto
Gilardino, the Italians seemed to have a narrow midfield and that was being taken
advantage of by Emmanuel Pappoe.
Then in the twelfth minute, Andrea Pirlo started a move on the right
which eventually arrived into Toni. Having missed the chance in the middle of the area,
Gilardino was in position at the far post to try again for Italy; shooting underneath
Richard Kingston, who had narrowed the angle, and hit the outside of the post.
Again for Italy, Luca Toni exploded out of nowhere in the 27th minute,
headed the ball past the last Ghana defender, Samuel Kuffour, and lashed a fierce shot
onto the bar.
Gung ho Ghana were always quick to reply, even tackling Italian
Gianluigi Buffon puffed a sigh of relief just before the half-hour, as
Asamoah Gyan thundered a shot past his nose and just wide of the post.
Essien was the next for Ghana. Then Pappoe came forward again, but got
a little excited and blasted the ball over the Italian bar.
End to end stuff, with Ghana matching the more experience Italians.
Luca Toni's next run down the left earned Italy a crucial corner, five
minutes before half-time. Totti surprised everyone in the area by passing it short to
Pirlo, on the corner of the penalty area. The AC Milan midfielder moved the ball on a
touch, saw everyone in the box was still flat-footed, then unleashed a drive through a
crowded penalty area; with the goalkeeper totally unsighted.
Ghana started the second-half looking a little vulnerable at the back
as a vissionary pass from Totti, in a deep position, released Gilardino; with Toni on his
left. Gilardino, who maybe didn't see Toni coming into space, was thwarted by Kingston's
Then a couple of minutes later, Essien forced a flying save from
Samuel Kuffour was lucky not to get a red card, with some fifteen
minutes to go, for pulling down Vincenzo Iaquinta on the edge of the area; because the
flag was up for offside.
After going off on a stretcher, Iaquinta returned to make the best of
Kuffour's soft back-pass, get into the penalty area ahead of John Mensah and round Richard
Kingston; to score Italy's second and make the three points safe.
Ghana had their moments and might feel unlucky not to get a penalty
(two 50-50 decisions went against them) but they lost concentration at times and Italy did
what we expected really, especially with Ghana forced to push forward.
Italy 2 - Ghana 0
1:0 Andrea Pirlo (40)
2:0 Vincenzo Iaquinta (83)
Italy: (Captain Fabio Cannavaro)
1 Gianluigi Buffon; 2 Cristian Zaccardo, 3 Fabio Grosso, 5 Fabio
Cannavaro, 13 Alessandro Nesta; 4 Daniele De Rossi, 10 Francesco Totti,
20 Simone Perrotta, 21 Andrea Pirlo; 9 Luca Toni, 11 Alberto
Ghana: (Captain Stephen Appiah)
22 Richard Kingston; 4 Samuel Kuffour, 5 John Mensah, 6 Emmanuel Pappoe, 15 John Pantsil;
8 Michael Essien, 10 Stephen Appiah, 11 Sulley Muntari, 18 Eric Addo; 3 Asamoah Gyan, 14
Carlos Simon (Brazil)
46 Mins (Ghana) - 7 Shilla Illiasu on for 6 Emmanuel Pappoe
56 Mins (Italy) - 16 Mauro Camoranesi on for 10 Francesco Totti
64 Mins (Italy) - 15 Vincenzo Iaquinta in for 11 Alberto Gilardino
68 Mins (Ghana) - 19 Razak Pimpong in for 14 Matthew Amoah
82 Mins (Italy) - 7 Alessandro Del Piero on for 9 Luca Toni
90 Mins (Ghana) - 12 Alex Tachie-Mensah on for 3 Asamoah Gyan
10 Mins - Daniele De Rossi (Italy)
41 Mins - Sulley Muntari (Ghana)
62 Mins - Mauro Camoranesi (Italy)
65 Mins - Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)
88 Mins - Vincenzo Iaquinta (Italy)
0 Red Cards.
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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