Friday, June 30, 2006
Italy took their chances to take a comfortable win in their Fifa World Cup quarter-final match against Ukraine, Friday.
Gianluca Zambrotta scored the game winner after six minutes and Luca Toni netted a double in the second half to secure a semi-final game with the host nation, Germany.
Zambrotta's early goal for Italy was a 30 yard low hard swinging drive that beat the Ukraine keeper at his near post.
Italy played a very effective counter attack game ceding 58 per cent of possession to Ukraine while they equalled their opponents creativity in front of goal with seven shots on target.
Ukraine played good football in the second period and while they were still one goal down were unlucky not to net an equaliser.
They were up against an Italian defence that had conceded just one goal in the tournament - which was an own goal - and was to complete a third consecutive shut out.
On 48 minutes Gianluigi Buffon made a match-winning save from Maksym Kalinichenko. In the process of tipping the downward header onto the post Buffon head-butted the upright.
As Ukraine upped the pressure Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro then made a crucial winning header clearance as Andiry Shevchenko lurked behind.
When Buffon saved again and Zambrotta cleared off the line from Kalinichenko Ukraine coach Oleg Blohkin rued the missed chances. A minute later an Italian attack led to a corner, taken short Totti's near-post ball met a diving Toni and it was suddenly 2-0.
Andriy Gusin then connected with a header and hit the crossbar but though the Ukraine effort was vigorous on the day they did not score.
Ten minutes after Toni's first World Cup goal, Zambrotta dribbled into the penalty area from the left side and passed the ball to Toni who tapped in his second goal from five yards.
An unsung hero of the match was Gennaro Gattuso whose hard work in midfield earned him Fifa's Man of the Match award.
== Quarter-finals ==
== Formations ==
=== Italy ===
68' Simone Barone for Pirlo
68' Massimo Oddo for Camoranesi
77' Cristian Zaccardo for GattusoCoach: Marcello Lippi
denotes one goal scored.
=== Ukraine ===
20' Andriy Vorobey for Sviderskyi
47'+ Vladyslav Vashchuk for Andriy Rusol
72' Oleksiy Belik for MilevskiyCoach: Oleg Blohkin
denotes one goal scored.
== Officials ==
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere
Assistant referee: Peter Hermans
Assistant referee: Walter Vromans
Fourth referee: Toru Kawikawa
Fifth referee: Yoshikazu Hiroshima
== Related news ==
Germany master penalties to beat Argentina to semi-final spot
== Sources ==
"Italy 3-0 Ukraine" — BBC Online, June 30, 2006 "FIFA match report" — FIFA, June 30, 2006
This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.