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"In any language, the whole world is united by a ball." --- Steve Amoia, Publisher, November 2006.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Euro 2012 Qualifier: Italia 5 x Faroe Islands 0: Azzurri Festival in Florence


Image courtesy
of UEFA.

Match Highlights



Cesare Prandelli took the unusual step to announce his starting XI a day before the match tonight (2050 kickoff local time) at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. He has announced five changes from the team that started the last game against Estonia.

Italy Starting Lineup: 4-3-3

Viviano

De Silvestri, Bonucci, Chiellini, Antonelli

Montolivo, Pirlo (capt.), De Rossi

Rossi, Gilardino, Cassano

Manager: Mr. Prandelli.

Prandelli's Comments Ahead of the Match

"In certi momenti le scelte saranno dettate dalla condizione fisica, in altre dalla manovra. Sin da domani vogliamo provare a giocare con tre attaccanti puri".
"In certain moments, the choices will be made due to physical condition. In others, due to movement. But by tomorrow, I want to try to play with three main strikers."
"Voglio una squadra che giochi a calcio. Un calo di tensione è umanamente possibile, ma sappiamo di dover evitare questo errore. Vorrei vedere una squadra generosa, coraggiosa, che non lasci nulla di intentato".
"I want a team that plays football. A drop in tension is humanely possible but we know how to avoid this error. I would like to see a generous side, courageous, that doesn't leave anything to intention."
far oer — "Questa squadra al 90’ era in vantaggio a Tallin. Poi se faremo le cose per bene, allora vinceremo la partita".
"This Faroe Islands team at the 90th minute was ahead in Estonia. Well, if we do things for the better, we will win the game."
cassano — "Mi piace quando dice che ha talento, ma anche la consapevolezza che può aiutare i compagni".
"I like when Cassano says that he has talent but also with the understanding that he can help his teammates."

Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 6 September 2010.

Aug. 08, 2010 - 06296323 date 08 08 2010 Copyright imago Gribaudi ImagePhoto DB Coverciano Fi 08 08 2010 allenamento Nazionale Italiana Gioco Calcio Photo Daniele Buffa Image Sports Nella Photo Antonio Cassano PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITA Florence men Football National team ITA Training Single Vdig xmk 2010 vertical premiumd.
Antonio Cassano: From leper to leader.
Italian source for the lineup and text: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 6 September 2010.

Euro 2012 Qualification: Group C
Estonia, Faroe Islands, Italy, Northern Ireland, Serbia and Slovenia.

Other matches on Tuesday: Serbia 1 x Slovenia 1
UEFA Euro 2012 Table and Results

Faroe Islands Starting XI: 4-4-2

Nielsen

Bo, Lukin, Gregersen, Davidsen

Rubeksen, Benjaminsen (capt.), Mouritsen, Petersen

Samuelsen, Edmundson

Manager: Mr. Kerr.

Match Official: Mr. Kulbakov of Belarus.

First Half

The Faroe Islands is composed of only four professional players. Two are carpenters, another a school teacher along with a few fishermen. Technically, they are no match for the Italians but in the last two matches during Euro 2008 qualification, the Faroese scored twice.

Field conditions were dry and the Florentine crowd of 19,000 enjoyed a late-summer's humid evening. The Azzurri attacked from the opening whistle with a very fast pace. One-touch passing and good ball movement. Often times, the last pass wasn't completed but the intent was purposeful. Perhaps due to the five changes and the acclimation process still under way. Giuseppe Rossi and Daniele De Rossi were constantly running across the pitch. Antonio Cassano was weaving his magic on the wings. The Azzurri looked organized and crisp.

In the 11th minute, Alberto Gilardino scored on a perfect header from a corner by Andrea Pirlo. It was Gilardino's first goal for the Azzurri in over a year. Italy kept pushing forward and in the 21st minute, Daniele De Rossi scored from a rebound past the busy Faroese keeper, Nielsen. In the 27th minute, Antonio Cassano scored on a right-footed blast from just outside of the half moon. The Faroe Islands had one shot on goal from a free kick outside of the penalty area and mostly absorbed the fierce Italian pressure at their defensive end.

The half ended, 3 x 0. It could have been much more had the Azzurri finished better and without Nielsen's saves.

Second Half

The pace slowed considerably and the game resembled a training match. In the 65th minute, Fabio Quagliarella and Giampaolo Pazzini came in for Giuseppe Rossi and Alberto Gilardino. In the 75th minute, Angelo Palumo replaced De Rossi. In the 81st minute, from a great pass from Montolivo, Quagliarella scored his sixth Azzurri goal. Then in the 89th minute, Andrea Pirlo scored from a swerving free kick from the right side to close out the match.

Scoring Summary

Italy 5 x Faroe Islands 0

Gilardino 11', De Rossi 21', Cassano 27', Quagliarella 81', Pirlo 90'.

Match Stats

Italy Faroe Islands
Shots (on Goal) 25(19) 3(1)
Fouls 10 10
Corner Kicks 6 1
Offsides 7 0
Time of Possession 53% 47%
Yellow Cards 0 1
Red Cards 0 0
Saves 3 7

Match statistics courtesy of ESPN SoccerNet.

Prandelli After the Game with RAI Sport
"Florence is a generous place to play. I feel at home here...

We scored twice in the first 20 minutes. It was normal that we couldn't keep up the same pace for 90 minutes."
Gilardino After the Game with RAI Sport
"It was important to win a game like this by many goals. We had very good ball movement."
Prandelli at the Press Conference

"L’atteggiamento giusto, la voglia di fare la partita giocando palla a terra".
"The right attitude. The desire to take the game to the opponent playing the ball on the ground."
"Se sono utilizzabili anche contro squadre più forti? Dipenderà dalla loro attenzione tattica. Rossi? L’abbiamo recuperato all’ultimo minuto. Avrei voluto un po’ più di ampiezza, ma ci vuole un po’ tempo. L’obiettivo tattico per me adesso è capire se questa squadra potrà giocare con Balotelli, Cassano e una punta. Se capisco che non ci sono equilibri e difficoltà, cambieremo, ma ci voglio provare".

On Using Three Strikers
"Can they be used against stronger sides? It will depend on their tactical attitude. Giuseppe Rossi? We got him back (he had a calf injury) at the last minute. I would have wanted a little more extension but there is still some time. The tactical objective for me now is to understand if this team can play with Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and a center forward. If I understand that there aren't imbalances and difficulties, we will change but I want to try it."
"Mi sono piaciuti tanto dal punto di vista della costruzione, ma dobbiamo migliorare dal punto di vista della riconquista del pallone".

OTTOBRE — "Ci aspettano le partite più importanti dell’anno. Dovremmo essere più squadra, più organizzati".

On the Technical Midfield and the Next Qualifiers

"They pleased me a lot from the point of view of the build-up but we need to improve from the perspective of winning back the ball...

The most important matches of the year await us. We will have to be more of a team and better organized."

On His Young Defensive Back Line

"Ha un’età media molto bassa. Ma dobbiamo ripartire, servono giovani. E questi hanno la qualità, ma anche la personalità, che può fare la differenza a quell’età per rimanere in questo gruppo".

"It has a very low average age. But we need to start over. The young players are needed. And these players have quality but also personality that can make the difference at that age to remain in this group."
Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 8 September 2010.

Notes
  • The last time that Italy won by five goals was in 1987 over Malta.
  • The new Italian Federation Technical Sector President, Roberto Baggio, watched the game from the tribune of honor with Azzurri team manager, Gigi Riva.
  • Prandelli also hailed the warm reception of the Florentine supporters. "We want to bring back smiles and enthusiasm to our fans."

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