It was one of the most enthralling and exciting matches uptil now in the FIFA World Cup 2006! I'm speaking about the Italy Vs. USA match that was played out on the 9th day of the tournament. More on the match later….
The first match of the day was between Ghana and Czech Republic. The Czechs were on a roll after beating USA by three goals, and though they missed strikers Jan Koller and Milan Baros, they wouldn't have anticipated such a result in even their worst dreams! In a bravura effort, Ghana beat the Czechs 2-0 with an early goal from Gyan, in just the 2nd minute! A late strike from Muntari in the 82nd minute sealed the win for Ghana. In the other match from Group E, Italy's 1-1 draw with USA meant that any two teams from that group can go on to the next round! In a match marred with as many as 3 red cards and countless fouls & offsides, 9-men USA staved off a 10-men Italy to share the points. Italy's De Rossi picked up the first red card for elbowing Brian McBride and then on either side of the break, Mastoreni & Eddie Pope picked up their marching orders! Incidentally, both the Goals came from Italians as Gilardino scored Italy's goal and Zaccardo scored an own goal, much to the chagrin of the fans & supporters. For most part of the match, USA looked to be stronger side, with much control in the midfield ans also some pretty neat surges…but thir finishing was poor…and well, maybe luck was out! Italy, on the other hand, scored from their best opportunity and never really threatened until late in the second half! They had almost a dozen offsides which shows their desperation for a long-ball-goal! But all in all, it was a pretty exhilirating match ,which hopefully, would be the tone for the other matches to come!
The third game of the day, though not as exciting as the other two, was a good one in its own li'l way. Portugal beat Iran 2-0 to move atop group D. Deco scored a wonderful opening goal, and then Christiano Ronaldo netted from a spot kick-both efforts coming in the second half.