From a rainy Cape Town, the Azzurri face Paraguay in their opening Group F game at the 2010 World Cup. There has a been a downpour of rain since yesterday and Mr. Lippi decided to cancel the pregame practice at the stadium this morning.
Picture of Fabio Cannavaro from "Casa Azzurri" in
Centurion, South Africa.
Azzurri Starting XI: 4-2-3-1
Azzurri in training.
Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Criscito
De Rossi, Montolivo
Iaquinta, Marchisio, Pepe
Manager: Mr. Lippi
Paraguay Starting XI: 4-4-2
Salvador Cabanas: The Paraguayan star is still
recovering from his tragic gun shot wound suffered
last January in Mexico City.
Bonet, da Silva, Alcarez, Morel Rodriguez
Vera, Riveros, Carceres, Torres
Manager: Mr. Martino
Referee: Mr. Archundia of Mexico.
Mister Lippi Before the Game
"La prima partita è la più importante, anche se non è decisiva. Il Paraguay però è un avversario difficile. Bisogna attaccarlo, ma bisogna sapersi anche difendere, perchè in avanti hanno giocatori importanti come Barrios, Valdez, Santa Cruz e Cardoso. Certo, fare un primo risultato positivo ci darebbe convinzione".
"The first game is the most important even if it isn't decisive. However, Paraguay is a difficult opponent. You need to attack them but also need to know how to defend because up front they have important players such as Barrios, Valdez, Santa Cruz and Cardoso. Surely, making an initial positive result would give conviction."Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, June 13, 2010.
On a cold rainy night in Cape Town, the Azzurri looked organized and determined to take the game to the South Americans. Italy pushed up with Pepe on the left and Criscito, a fullback, moving up on the right side. Their passing was crisp despite the weather and Paraguay had very little possession. But without Andrea Pirlo, this side lacked creativity even in Riccardo Montolivo was playing well.
Against the run of play, from a free kick by Torres, Antonin Alcaraz outjumped De Rossi and Cannavaro to head the ball into the corner past a motionless Buffon. The half ended, 0 x 1.
Alcaraz outjumps De Rossi and Cannavaro to score.
Buffon was replaced by Marchetti due to a sciatic nerve problem. Paraguay pressed with more intensity chasing the knock-out punch. The Azzurri pushed forward with determination but seemingly without many creative options. In the 69th minute, Pepe's corner kick was missed by the keeper, Villar, and landed right in front of De Rossi who equalized. Montolivo and Pepe took a few long-range shots but Villar settled down and saved them without problems.
De Rossi equalized from a corner by Pepe.
The game ended, 1 x 1, but the Azzurri have work to do and Paraguay might regret not obtaining the three points. The second place team in Group F faces the likely winner of Group E, The Netherlands.
- Please see my more comprehensive article at Soccerlens with translated quotes on Tuesday.
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