昨晚人在外頭還跟朋友說,死亡之組一點也不死亡,阿根廷跟荷蘭都相繼晉級了,哪裏知道回到家來,另一個死亡之組已然呈現亂集團. 趕回家來已是Azzurri vs USA的下半場20多分,場面是一比一,咱們家的Gila還進了球,可是聽說場上只剩19人,讓人一頭霧水.
Group E - June 17 Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern
Italy 1 - 1 USA
Gilardino 22 (I), Zaccardo og 27 (U)
Daniele De Rossi was sent off and Cristian Zaccardo scored an own goal as Italy were held to a 1-1 draw by nine-man USA.
The Azzurri made just one change from the side that beat Ghana 2-0 in the opener, bringing in Gianluca Zambrotta after his recovery from a thigh strain in place of Fabio Grosso at left-back. The US fielded a very closed formation following their 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the Czech Republic. Ghana's 2-0 win over the Czechs earlier this evening meant that nobody would be sure of qualification from Group E until the final game, regardless of this result. With the army base nearby, Bruce Arena's fans were in the majority, as Kaiserslautern has the largest US community outside American soil.
Francesco Totti was the first player in the book for his late tackle on Clint Dempsey after four minutes. A defensive error nearly allowed Dempsey to shoot from the penalty spot, but he was closed down at the last moment. The Azzurri struggled to clear the ball and eventually Alessandro Nesta gave away a free kick on the edge of the area, which was deflected wide from Convey. From the resulting corner, Convey was left unmarked and blasted over.
The Americans were more aggressive and seemed first to the ball, as Dempsey's angled drive was off target. Eddie Pope hauled down Alberto Gilardino as he ran on to Andrea Pirlo's long pass, but was only booked, as he was last man but a good 30 metres away from the goal.
Despite being under early pressure, it was Italy who took the lead on 22 minutes. Pirlo curled in a free kick for his Milan teammate Gilardino's diving header from seven yards. He celebrated his eighth Azzurri goal by kneeling and pretending to play the violin.
America drew level in bizarre circumstances, as a free kick was accidentally deflected into his own net at the back post by Cristian Zaccardo. His clearance was woefully miss-hit and it comically ricocheted behind him.
Italy's game seemed to crumble, as less than a minute later Daniele De Rossi was sent off for elbowing Brian McBride. The American was left with a large cut under his eye and nobody could argue with the dismissal, which was nothing new for the fiery Roma youngster.
They still created a good chance with Pirlo releasing Toni, but something between a shot and a pass for Gilardino was effective as neither. Gennaro Gattuso, who made a lightning recovery from a thigh strain, made his Germany 2006 debut to shore up the midfield, replacing Totti.
Cannavaro gave the ball away and Pablo Mastroeni unleashed a missile that shook the roof of the net. The midfielder also saw red on the stroke of half-time following a dangerous two-footed tackle on Pirlo's ankle. Gianluigi Buffon got down to block Convey's effort.
The drama wasn't over, as within two minutes of the restart the Americans were reduced to nine men. Eddie Pope brought down Gilardino from behind and earned his second booking. Pirlo curled the free kick just over the bar and the US reinforced their defence with Bobby Conrad for Convey.
Italy nearly took the lead with an own goal, as Bocanegra's header sent Pirlo's free kick on to the crossbar, almost returning Zaccardo's favour. Toni was halted for a very debatable offside flag before Alessandro Del Piero came on for Zaccardo, maintaining an attacking system in 10 vs nine.
Toni just failed to get on the end of Zambrotta's cross, but Claudio Reyna pounced on a Pirlo error and scuffed well wide. The US had penalty appeals for an Alessandro Nesta handling offence, but it was clearly involuntary and took a strange ricochet. Pirlo set up Simone Perrotta to drill over the bar from a tight angle before Vincenzo Iaquinta took over from Toni in Italy's final substitution. Arena also made an attacking change with DaMarcus Beasley replacing Dempsey and they threatened on the counter-attack with McBride drilling wide after good work from Landon Donovan.
America thought they'd taken a shock lead with Beasley's angled drive flying up off Buffon's arm, but it was disallowed because McBride was in an offside position and lifted his leg to let the ball through, therefore clearly impeding the goalkeeper's view.
Perrotta was stretchered off after a knock to the thigh, but with all the substitutions completed, he had to carry on for half an hour limping very badly. Zambrotta cut in from the left and drilled just wide of the far post, but was later booked for a nudge on Steve Cherundolo.
Italy had a fantastic opportunity with Pirlo's delightful chipped pass for Del Piero's volley with the outside of his left foot, but Kasey Keller performed an equally magnificent one-handed reaction save. It probably would've been one of the goals of the tournament.
It was practically nine vs nine, as Perrotta could barely run. Del Piero tested Keller again with a fine curling shot from distance, while Iaquinta couldn't get a strong enough touch on Pirlo's through ball.
Pirlo and Del Piero combined inside the area, but Iaquinta was closed down as he prepared to tap in. The Udinese striker was held back by Conrad, but stayed on his feet, then Gilardino's glancing header was wide.
Italy: Buffon; Zaccardo (Del Piero 54), Nesta, Cannavaro, Zambrotta; Perrotta, Pirlo, De Rossi; Totti (Gattuso 35); Toni (Iaquinta 61), Gilardino
USA: Keller; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Pope, Bocanegra; Dempsey (Beasley 62), Mastroeni, Reyna, Convey (Conrad 51); McBride, Donovan
Ref: Larrionda (Uru)
Sent off: De Rossi 29 (I), Mastroeni 45 (U), Pope 47 (U)