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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Faroe Islands 1 x Italy 2: Euro 2008 Qualifier

Calcio Connection

02 June 2007

Tonight at the Torsvollor Stadium in Torshavn, in front of 6,000 festive and boisterous fans, the Faroe Islands won a moral victory. On a wet pitch, in the cold late Spring of the North Atlantic, two goals by Filippo Inzaghi in the 12th and 48th minutes were the difference. This was another Azzurri victory that was too close for comfort. Again, the Azzurri were not able to finish many goal-scoring opportunities. Namely, Del Piero, Diana, Lucarelli, and Pirlo. Inzaghi scored the first goal after a fine individual move to trap the ball with his right foot from a long ball by Pirlo, evade the grasp of the defender, and then power the ball with his left foot past the keeper. His second came on a soft but precise header to left corner from an assist by Aimo Diana. Pippo also struck a post on another diving header.

I listened to the game via RAI Radio, and the game announcer, Riccardo Cucchi, described the atmosphere in this fashion: "Last night was an all-night party. Some of the Faroe's players and fans were buying football shoes (if I understood correctly there was some type of sponsor or store who brought shoes) from our cameramen and other staff. The houses lining the stadium were red and white. The grass was green in this marvelous small island group... It is a cold and wet night. The opponents are sportingly competitive."

In the 78th minute, Rogvi Jacobsen, a carpenter by trade, scored a goal that will be discussed for many years in the Faroes. He headed a well-placed cross powerfully past Gigi Buffon into the right corner after outjumping Massimo Oddo. A few minutes later, Holst almost equalized except for a great save by Buffon. It was his only save of the match, but a draw would have placed Italy's hopes for qualification from this very competitive group in disarray.

After the game, Roberto Donadoni was asked to comment: "They played the game of their lives. It was a difficult field and cold night. I don't care about the result between France and Ukraine (France won 2 x 0)."

After today's results, France leads the group, and the Azzurri are in second. But next Wednesday, they must travel to Lithuania for another difficult encounter. Last year in Italy, the Lithuanians surprisingly obtained a draw, 1 x 1.

Video highlights of the game.

Here are the stats courtesy of ESPNsoccernet:

Faroe Islands Italy
Shots (on Goal) 6(2) 14(2)
Fouls 15 9
Corner Kicks 1 9
Offsides 1 7
Time of Possession 46% 54%
Yellow Cards 0 1
Red Cards 0 0
Saves 2 1

Here is a link to the Faroe Islands FA site.


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