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Saturday, September 5, 2009

WC 2010 Qualifier: Georgia 0 x Italia 2: Kaladze Scores a Rare Own Goal Brace

Azzurri captain Fabio Cannavaro makes his 128th
appearance tonight. Image courtesy of Paul Blank

The Azzurri arrived in Tbilisi on Friday, and were met by a warm reception of over 200 for their evening training session.

Kick-off will be 2200 local, 2000 CET, and 1800 GMT at Boris Paichadeze Stadium in Tbilisi. A sell-out of 60,000 is expected.

Mr. Lippi Ahead of the Match

"Paul Newman" reached a boiling point this week after his latest exclusion of Antonio Cassano dominated the news.

"Di queste partite non si parla neanche durante la settimana, non frega niente a nessuno nell’ambiente calcistico. Si è parlato di Cassano, di Mourinho, di tutto meno che di come giochiamo. La Georgia non sarà il Brasile, ma vincere qui è invece importante in prospettiva Mondiale 2010, possiamo avvicinarci molto all’obiettivo. E invece dell’Italia si parla solo nei grandi appuntamenti".
"Nobody talked about these games during the week, nobody gives a damn about the soccer environment. One heard of Cassano, Mourinho, of everything except that we are playing. Georgia isn't Brasil, but to win here is still important ahead of WC 2010, we can get much closer to the objective. But instead in Italy, they only discuss big fixtures."
"Non potevo chiamare gli Under 21 prima della fase finale dell’Europeo, che si erano guadagnati sul campo. Non giocano titolari nei club, tipo Santon? Chi non gioca mai fa bene ad andarsene, ma i giovani che giocano una gara sì e due no possono comunque mettersi in luce, può comunque valer la pena così".
"I couldn't call up the Under 21 before the final phase of the European Championship that they earned on the field. Not everyone starts for their clubs, such as Davide Santon? Who never plays would be better to go elsewhere (for playing time), but the young players who play a game or two can't put themselves in the best light, so it would be worthwhile (for them to get first team football elsewhere.")
"Cosa voglio che cambi rispetto alle ultime uscite? Vorrei che la palla andasse dentro") si affida a lui: Giuseppe Rossi. E’ un’investitura: "Ha grandi qualità, e in alcune partite il salto di qualità l’ha già fatto, giocando benissimo".
"What would I change with regards to the last three games? I would like that the ball went into the net." On Giuseppe Rossi: "He has great quality, and in some games he raised his level. He is playing very well."
Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 4 September 2009.

Azzurri Starting XI: 4-4-2


Zambrotta, Cannavaro (captain), Chiellini, Criscito

Marchionni, Pirlo, Palombo, Camoranesi

Iaquinta, G. Rossi.

Manager: Marcello Lippi

Georgia Starting XI: 4-4-1-1


Lobjanidze, Khizanishvili, Kaladze (captain), Popkhadze

Radmadze, Koblashvili, Mentesashvili, Kenia



Manager: Hector Cuper

Follow the Game Online
  • If you would like to discuss the game with other Azzurri fans, please visit Anna Italia at her site: http://italiansoccerseriea.com. She provides a live matchcast in English.
Game Report

Due to technical difficulties, I wasn't able to see or hear the entire game. (I have listed sources above to view full commentaries.) On a warm and humid night, there was a great atmosphere in Tbilisi. The Georgians follow the Serie A, and seemed pleased to host the World Champions.

Gigi Buffon made three world-class saves, and Kakha Kaladze (who plays for AC Milan) of Georgia scored two rare own goals. For the fourth straight game, the Azzurri failed to score on their own. Which is especially alarming against a technically inferior opponent such as Georgia. The last goal came against the USA at the Confederations Cup (Giuseppe Rossi).

To quote Riccardo Cucchi of RAI Radio, "the Azzurri limped to another victory."

The Republic of Ireland won in Cyprus, 1 x 2. Before today, Italy was 1 point ahead of the Irish with a game in hand. Both will meet next month in Dublin, and the result between Italy and Bulgaria next Wednesday looms large for that encounter. Only the top team qualifies directly, and the second placed team must enter a play-in during November.


Kaladzhe (Georgia): 57' and 67' (own goals)


Iaquinta and Quagliarella in injury time.

Marcello Lippi After the Game

"Siamo andati abbastanza spesso vicino alla porta avversaria. Loro hanno avuto un inizio spumeggiante ma li abbiamo controllati senza grossi problemi. L'attacco è rimasto a secco? Quando fai un’azione pericolosa che mette in difficoltà gli avversari costringendoli all’errore, anche questo è un gol".

Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 5 September 2009.
"We went enough times near their goal. They had a great start, but we controlled them without many problems.

Was the attack still shut down?

When you make dangerous plays that put your opponents in a difficult position creating errors, this is also a goal."
Kakha Kaladze After the Game

"La squadra ha fatto bene, ci ha messo il cuore, ha mostrato carattere in campo e mi spiace che per colpa mia abbiamo preso due gol, ma nel calcio succede... Nel secondo tempo loro hanno iniziato molto bene, poi abbiamo preso gol dopo 11' e la partita è feinita lì. Posso solo ribadire che mi dispiace e faccio tanti complimenti all'Italia".

Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 5 September 2009.
"The team did well, we had heart, we demonstrated character on the pitch and I'm sorry that due to my fault we conceded two goals, but in football, it happens.

In the second half, they began very well, then we conceded after 11 minutes and the game ended there. I can only restate that I am sorry and many compliments to Italy."

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