FIFA WORLD CUP

AWD-Arena, Hannover, Germany

Referee: Carlos Eugenio Simon | Attendance: 43000

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Italy

  • Andrea Pirlo 40'
  • Vincenzo Iaquinta 83'

2 - 0

FT

Game 9

  • 93'

    FULL-TIME: Italy had the better quality in the final third, although Ghana can be proud of a hard-working and committed performance.

  • 92'

    Italy are about to take their unbeaten run to 19 games; they haven't lost since October 2004.

  • 91'

    Ghana win a late corner. Muntari swings it out to the edge of the penalty area, but Essien mis-kicks horribly and Italy break.

  • 89'

    GHANA SUB: Tachie-Mensah comes on to replace Gyan; Gyan has worked very hard up front, but has been unable to get Ghana back in to the match.

  • 88'

    Iaquinta is booked for throwing the ball away after a free-kick decision had gone against him.

  • 87'

    Essien and Appiah have been immense for Ghana; they don't deserve to be on the losing side this evening.

  • 86'

    Iaquinta again chases a long ball forward, but this time Kuffour is able to nod the ball back to his keeper without alarm.

  • 85'

    Challenges are flying in now; Ghana appear to be getting a bit frustrated and are taking it out in their tackling.

  • 84'

    Kuffour is livid with himsel for gifting Iaquinta that chance; it was a dreadful attempt at a back-pass and it appears to have sealed Ghana's defeat.

  • 83'

    GOAL! Kuffour's back-pass falls well short, Iaquinta steals in, rounds Kingson and rolls the ball in to an empty net.

  • 82'

    ITALY SUB: Del Piero comes on to replace Toni; the veteran of 75 caps comes on to the final few minutes. Del Piero is the only man in the Italian squad to have scored in a World Cup.

  • 81'

    OFF-TARGET! Essien fires a low shot wide of the post from 25 yards.

  • 80'

    So, we enter the final ten minutes with Italy on top and looking comfortable, though Ghana seem dangerous enough to keep them on their toes.

  • 79'

    PENALTY! NO! Gyan holds off a couple of challenges before diving through two tackles and hitting the deck; the referee turns down his claims and waves 'play-on'.

  • 78'

    BLOCK! Appiah launches a direct counter-attack; he picks up a one-two before unleashing a shot, but De Rossi has got back and makes the block.

  • 77'

    Iaquinta is back on his feet and back on the pitch.

  • 76'

    Iaquinta has to be stretched off after not recovering from Kuffour's challenge from a moment ago.

  • 74'

    Kuffour is extremely lucky when he brings down Iaquinta on the edge of the area, although the referee had already blown for off-side. It would have been a certain red card had the linesman not have flagged.

  • 73'

    Ghana have had more of the ball than Italy in the second half, but they have come up against a very experienced and organised defence and have been unable to mount any sustained pressure.

  • 72'

    Ghana cry for a penalty as Gyan is muscled off the ball by De Rossi as the two fought for a bouncing ball in the penalty area.

  • 71'

    It is very humid in Hannover, and a few of the players are starting to look a little weary.

  • 70'

    Pimpong forces a corner when his cross is deflected behind. Muntari sends the set-piece in towards Kuffour, but Nesta heads clear.

  • 69'

    Iaquinta is caught-offside as he tried to run on to Pirlo's pass; it was a real shame, as Italy had a three-on-two situation developing.

  • 68'

    GHANA SUB: Pimpong replaces Amoah; the FC Copenhagen striker comes on to replace Amoah, who has been mostly ineffecive since the break.

  • 67'

    GREAT SAVE! De Rossi feeds Perrotta with a good pass in to the penalty area; the midfielder is faced only with Kingston, but the keeper makes an instinctive save at his near post.

  • 66'

    EASY SAVE! Shilla misses a tackle at left back, allowing Camoranesi to send over a threatening cross; Perrotta climbs highest, but plants his header straight at Kingston.

  • 66'

    Gyan is harshly booked for what looked like a good challenge on Pirlo. Replays show he did lunge a little at the Italian midfielder.

  • 65'

    ITALY SUBl Gilardino off, Iaquinta on; Lippi chooses to freshen up his strike force for the final half-hour or so.

  • 64'

    Essien is starting to push further forward now, and is starting to get more involved in the action in the final third. That is a good sign for the Black Stars.

  • 63'

    ...and the three-man wall does its job as Essien blasts a shot straight in to it.

  • 63'

    Camoranesi is booked for a tackle from behind on Appiah. He can have no complaints, and Ghana win a free-kick, 35 yards out. Essien waits as Italy form their defensive wall...

  • 62'

    ...Saudi Arabia.

  • 61'

    Every one of the 23-man Italian squad is home-based; the only other country that can boast that is...

  • 61'

    Italy look very comfortable now; they are finding a lot of space to attack, and Ghana seem to have lost a bit of confidence going forward.

  • 60'

    Camoranesi finds more space out on the right, but his low cross in to the middle is cleared by Mensah.

  • 59'

    EASY SAVE! Gyan fires in a low shot from a tight angle, but it doesn't really trouble Buffon at his near post.

  • 58'

    Camoranesi has gone out wide on the right, meaning Italy have shifted to more of a 4-4-2 formation.

  • 57'

    ITALY SUB: Camoranesi replaces Totti; Italy are taking no chances with Totti's recent injury trouble, and they bring on the Juventus wide-man.

  • 56'

    Totti is down, writhing around on the turf after a challenge with Pentsil. He receives some treatment.

  • 55'

    EXCELLENT SAVE! Essien drives a powerful shot goalwards, but Buffon makes a solid save and pushes the ball out to safety.

  • 54'

    Gilardino flicks a pass over the top for Totti to chase, but Kingston is alert enough to come out of his area and clear.

  • 53'

    Essien breaks towards goal, but shuns what appears to be a good opportunity to fire a shot in.

  • 52'

    Ghana look a little bit ragged at the back; there appears to be big spaces in behind their full-backs, and Toni and Gilardino are making good runs in to it.

  • 51'

    SAVE! Totti feeds Gilardino in to a massive space down the right channel; the striker breaks in to the area and drills a low shot goalwards, but Kingston makes a good save with his legs.

  • 50'

    Ghana give the ball away badly in midfield, but Pirlo fails to find the run of either Toni or Gilardino.

  • 49'

    Ghana have made a good start to this second-half; they have had most of the ball and managed to get plenty players forward, but again they seem to lack quality around Italy's penalty area.

  • 48'

    Italy's preparations for this tournament have been disrupted by match-fixing allegations in Serie A, but they seem well focussed this evening.

  • 47'

    Ghana need to see if they can continue their good work from the first half, but somehow add a cutting edge to their play in the final third of the pitch.

  • 46'

    Italy kick off the second half.

  • 45'

    GHANA SUB: Pappoe off, Shilla on; Pappoe seemed to do okay in the first half; perhaps he picked up a knock.

  • 46'

    HALF-TIME: Ghana gave as good as they got for much of the half, but go in a goal-down after Pirlo's sweet shot flew through a crowd and in to the corner.

  • 45'

    GOOD SAVE! Grosso benefits from a beautiful pass inside the area by Pirlo, but the goalkeeper makes a sharp save as the full-back fires in a low shot from a tight angle.

  • 44'

    Gilardino and Toni combine well again up front for Italy; they have worked really hard for their side in the first half, running the channels and making themselves available for passes.

  • 43'

    Essien and Grosso clash in midfield; replays show that the Italian full-back took a forearm to the face in the challenge. He's soon back on his feet, though. What a tough-guy.

  • 42'

    Ghana will be bitterly disappointed with that goal; they were doing so well, but Pirlo's goal will be a real body-blow to their confidence.

  • 41'

    It was a fantastic goal from Pirlo; a really well-struck shot, low through a crowd of players. Kingston had no chance to make the save; he wouldn't have seen the ball until very late.

  • 40'

    GOAL! Pirlo curls a wonderful strike in to the top corner after he collects a short corner. Fabulous goal from hte AC Milan midfielder.

  • 39'

    Toni teases Mensah down the left, but the defender does well to eventually gather himself and put the ball out for a corner.

  • 38'

    Ghana force a corner on the right-flank. It is taken short, and when the ball is finally delivered in to the middle, Essien can only direct his header tamely to Buffon.

  • 37'

    Ghana try and launch a quick counter-attack, but Nesta makes a crucial interception to prevent Gyan getting in on goal.

  • 36'

    Perrotta's cross from the right is deflected, and Kuffour is forced to put the ball out for a corner. This time Kingston does well when he comes and punches clear.

  • 35'

    Toni picks up a superb flicked-pass from Totti, but his cross-shot is claimed at the near post by Kingston.

  • 34'

    Totti strikes another free-kick from distance, but this time his shot is deflected and Kingston easily gathers.

  • 33'

    JUST OVER! Kingston again shows his weakness on crosses as he comes through a crowd of players on a corner, misses the ball and Cannavaro heads over the bar.

  • 32'

    WHAT AN EFFORT! Totti strikes an ambitious shot from 40 yards after being teed-up from a free-kick; he strikes it wonderfully, and Kingston is forced in to a good save.

  • 31'

    SHOULD HAVE SCORED! A cross from the right is only half-cleared; the ball falls to Pappoe, but he blasts his shot over the crossbar when faced with just Buffon to beat.

  • 30'

    SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER! Essien breaks with a powerful run through the middle; he is shown on to his left foot, but the Chelsea midfielder strikes his shot high and wide.

  • 29'

    Ghana have really taken to World Cup football; remember, this is their first ever appearance at the finals, but they certainly look like they're here to make a statement.

  • 28'

    OOH! Gyan fires a low shot narrowly wide of the far post after he had been fed in a swift counter-attack. Explosive football from the Black Stars.

  • 27'

    Toni scored 31 goals in the Italian league this season, the first time that has been achieved for over 50 years. He is a real dangerman.

  • 26'

    OFF THE BAR! Toni thunders a shot off the underside of the crossbar after brilliantly controlling a high pass on the edge of the penalty area. Superb play by the Italy striker.

  • 25'

    Pantsil beats his marker down the right wing, and Cannvaro is forced in to another important defensive header.

  • 24'

    Toni forces another corner when he sprints on to Totti's through-ball and Mensah stretches to flick the ball behind.

  • 23'

    As I said earlier, Ghana's sole weakness seems to be from crosses from wide; in all other areas, they seem a very strong, organised and skillful side.

  • 22'

    Another good cross from the right causes confusion in the middle of the Ghana defence; the ball runs out to Totti, who's cross is deflected behind off Pantsil.

  • 21'

    Cannavaro does very well to get his body in the way as he shepherds Essien off the ball inside the Italy penalty area.

  • 20'

    Gyan causes a moment's panic when he hussles Cannavaro out of possession, but the veteran defender recovers himself.

  • 19'

    Ghana will be delighted with the start they have made; they look very strong and well capable of winning this match. Italy are going to have to be at their best.

  • 18'

    CRUCIAL HEADER! Nesta makes a crucial defensive header inside his own penalty area as Amoah looked to turn home an exellent cross from the right.

  • 18'

    Pappoe is getting a lot of space down the Ghana left; Italy's three-man midfield is very narrow, and it is allowing space for the Ghana left-back to attack down the flank.

  • 17'

    Totti has a lot to prove to the world after two very poor tournaments and an injury-hit season for Roma in Serie A; he is undoubtedly talented, but has shown little on the world stage for some time.

  • 16'

    POOR FINISH! Pirlo works the ball across the face of the penalty area to Totti, but the Roma striker blasts his shot high over the crossbar from 18 yards out.

  • 15'

    Pirlo's attempted cross in to the middle is handled by Addo, just outside the penalty area on the right-side. Pirlo stands over the set-piece...

  • 14'

    Gilardino is pushed from behind by Kuffour; free-kick to Italy.

  • 13'

    It has been a good start to the game; it is a more offensive-minded Italy side than we have been used to at previous World Cups, and Ghana seem to have the same positive intent.

  • 12'

    WHAT A CHANCE! Toni is inches from turning in a low cross from the right. The ball makes its way to Toni at the back post, but his prod towards goal is deflected on to the post.

  • 12'

    ...But Appiah curls his free-kick in to the defensive wall and Italy clear.

  • 12'

    Essien gets up a little gingerly from the challenge by De Rossi. Appiah stands over the set-piece...

  • 11'

    De Rossi is booked for a late challenge on Essien on the edge of the penalty area. Free-kick in a very dangerous spot...

  • 10'

    Ghana are really pressurising the Italian players, not giving them any time to settle or pick their passes; it is a high-tempo game they are attempting.

  • 9'

    Ghana look to be a little suspect when balls are delivered in to the box from wide positions; the goalkeeper doesn't look at all certain.

  • 8'

    OVER! Cannavaro plants a header over the crossbar from another Pirlo corner.

  • 8'

    A couple of Italy corners cause panic in the Ghana defence, especially the goalkeeper Kingston, who misses a couple of punches as the balls curl in to the crowded penalty area.

  • 7'

    GOOD BLOCK! Pantsil makes an important block to prevent Totti from getting a low cross in to the middle.

  • 6'

    Ghana have a good spell with the ball inside the Italy half, but it ends when a cross from the right is easily claimed by Buffon.

  • 5'

    A promising Ghana move ends when Addo can't direct his pass in to the run of Amoah.

  • 4'

    Already, the Ghana midfield have sent a couple of high, searching balls forward for Gyan and Amoah to scrap for.

  • 4'

    Ghana look to be a very strong, direct side; this is going to be a real test for Italy.

  • 3'

    Toni goes down under a strong challenge on the edge of the penalty area; the ball is put out of play while he gets to his feet. Very sporting play by the Ghanaians.

  • 2'

    This is a massive game for Ghana; they really feel that they can cause an upset or two in this tournament.

  • 1'

    Ghana appear to be lining up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Amoah and Gyan up front. Totti plays behind Gilardino and Toni in an attacking 4-3-1-2 formation for Italy.

  •  

    HERE WE GO, READERS! Ghana kick off the first half in Hannover.

  •  

    Hi, welcome to our coverage of Italy's World Cup Group E match against Ghana.

COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Italy

  • 18(13)

  • -

  • 8

  • 48%

    52%

  • Ghana

  • 21(8)

  • -

  • 20

Match Stats

  • Italy
  • Ghana
18(13) Shots (on goal) 21(8)
8 Fouls 20
12 Corner kicks 4
3 Offsides 3
48% Time of Possession 52%
3 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
7 Saves 15