SOFIA, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Bulgaria held champions Italy to a combative 0-0 draw in a 2010 World Cup Group Eight qualifier on Saturday.
Italy coach Marcello Lippi fielded six of the players who
won the 2006 World Cup in his starting line up but the visitors
were far from impressive.
However, they nearly stole all three points in the 72nd
minute when Alberto Gilardino trapped a through ball and shot
wide of Dimitar Ivankov's goal.
Bulgaria were unable to create any clear-cut chances of
their own but snuffed out any potential danger with an
authoritative display at the back.
"It was a good game. The lads played with authority and
great personality," Lippi told Rai television. "We were always
trying to win the game. The new players came together well with
Italy top the group with seven points from three games,
three clear of Ireland who have played one match less.