Substitute Francesco Totti scored an injury-time penalty to stun Australia and guide 10-man Italy to to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
With the game seemingly looking to be going to extra-time, Blackburn Rovers
defender Lucas Neill brought down Fabio Grosso inside the area and Spanish
referee Luis Medina Cantalejo pointed to the spot.
Totti, who had been surprisingly excluded from the starting XI and had only
entered the pitch 15 minutes earlier, coolly struck past goalkeeper Mark
Marco Materazzi's sending-off early in the second half after a two-footed
tackle on Mark Bresciano had proved a hammer blow for the Azzurri.
Italy failed to take advantage of their clear-cut chances in the first half
and were forced to defend after the break once Materazzi had been dismissed but
the Socceroos were unable to breakthrough.
The Azzurri now face the winner of Ukraine v Switzerland on Saturday in
Marcello Lippi's decision to drop Totti and play Alessandro Del Piero behind
attacking duo Alberto Gilardino and Luca Toni was not welcomed by the fans.
Australia coach Guus Hiddink chose Mark Bresciano to replace Liverpool's Harry
Kewell, who had failed to recover from a groin injury while Schwarzer returned
The Socceroos began in confident fashion and almost stunned their opponents in
the opening minute, with Scott Chipperfield's cross picking out Tim Cahill in
the box but the Everton midfielder could not find any power in his header.
Toni then latched on to Del Piero's dangerous cross and headed inches wide of
the far post while Chipperfield made a vital block withAlberto alberto Gilardino
ready to shoot from Del Piero's beautiful assist.
Gilardino should have put his team ahead in the 19th minute but his acrobatic
kick was palmed over by Schwarzer.
His next save proved more spectacular with Toni controlling Andrea Pirlo's
long ball before unleashing a shot which Schwarzer managed to clear with his
Midway through the half Mark Viduka should have punished Italy but his
close-range header from Bresciano's free-kick proved an easy catch for
goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Buffon was then forced to dive to his left to save Chipperfield's powerful
effort from close-range in what was the Aussies' best chance of the opening
Five minutes before half-time Gilardino failed to get behind Toni's assist as
the Azzurri edged closer.
But despite their clear-cut chances the Italians could have been trailing at
the interval had Cahill managed to get a touch on Luke Wilkshire's inviting
Lippi made his first change at half-time with striker Vincenzo Iaquinta
replacing Gilardino and the substitute immediately provided a cross for Toni,
who fired into the stands.
Five minutes after the re-start Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo showed a
straight red to Materazzi for a two-footed tackle on Bresciano, whose subsequent
free-kick fizzed wide of Buffon's far post.
On the hour Chipperfield tested Buffon with a stinging drive which the keeper
did well to clear before Wilkshire was then booked for an unnecessary challenge
on Del Piero.
The Italians continued to make unforced errors and were quite happy to play
inside their own half and hit the Aussies in the counter-attack.
It could have worked had Gattuso delivered a good ball to an unmarked Del
Piero inside the area but his cross was too long.
The Aussies failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority as Italy
kept their composure in defence.
Bresciano again tested Buffon before the same player's corner saw Cahill head
Guus Hiddink made his first substitution 10 minutes from time with forward
John Aloisi on for Mile Sterjovski.
Zambrotta was booked for wasting time as the Azzurri were desperately holding
But with 30 seconds remaining, Grosso came to the rescue to help the Italians