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World Cup Finals Blog Home: World Cup Finals: South Africa 2010: 1st Round: Match Schedule: Italy vs New Zealand

Sunday, 20th June 2010
Underdogs Hold Top Dogs

Group F Match

Italy vs New Zealand
in Nelspruit

Can the fairy-tale story come true? Can the All Whites get a point off the Azzuri; the World Champions? Stay tuned!

The shape of the ball might concern New Zealand, but at least the game starts all-square.

Proving that all is not bad when the ball is round in Kiwi Land, New Zealand took the lead against the World Champions, with just six minutes played; when Fabio Cannavaro diverted a free-kick for Shane Smeltz to tap-in past reserve goalkeeper, Federico Marchetti.

The Italian defenders started playing like big babies, falling over, clutching a chest here, a face there and generally trying to get New Zealand players booked; especially as it already worked once. Not really the kind of antics to encourage neutrals to want to see Italy go much further in the tournament.

They might like to fall down a lot but you can't keep the Italians down; as Tommy Smith conceded a penalty for shirt-pulling on Daniele De Rossi, before half an hour was even out.

After waiting for a little order to be restored on the edge of the penalty area, Vincenzo Iaquinta calmly sent Mark Paston the wrong way.

As the American media might say, New Zealand go into the break winning.

Half-time: 1:1

Substitutions started early in the second-half but not much changed with the game. Of course Italy wouldn't be happy with a draw; although one point is better than none.

Italy started to up the attacking movement in the last twenty minutes, but Mark Paston was equal to the Riccardo Montolivo shot; even affording a moment to watch the replay on a large screen.

Tommy Smith - so nice to see an Ipswich Town player back in the World Cup Finals - has had an exceptional game in the New Zealand defence, and considering the World Champions have only scored from a penalty (for shirt-pulling by Tommy), that's saying something.

In the 83rd minute, at the other end, substitute Chris Wood came oh so close to planting past the outstretched Marchetti.

Well, Marcello Lippi asked questions about his Italy team at half-time and had the courage to make the changes quickly; but he couldn't have known what answer New Zealand would give.

The New Zealand fans all had the shirts off; swinging them around their heads in the final minutes, oblivious to the South African winter chill.

Final Score:
Italy 1 New Zealand 1

Goalscorers Goalscorers:
0:1 Shane Smeltz (6 mins)
1:1 Vincenzo Iaquinta (29 mins) - penalty.

Man of The Match:
Ryan Nelsen - A solid inspiration for the underdogs from Down Under, against one of the world's top dog football nations. Oh wait, Italy are still the World Champions.

Teams

Travel to Italy Italy:
12 Federico Marchetti; 3 Domenico Criscito, 4 Giorgio Chiellini, 5 Fabio Cannavaro, 19 Gianluca Zambrotta; 15 Claudio Marchisio, 22 Riccardo Montolivo, 6 Daniele De Rossi, 7 Simone Pepe; 11 Alberto Gilardino, 9 Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Travel to New Zealand New Zealand:
1 Mark Paston; 19 Tommy Smith, 6 Ryan Nelsen, 4 Winston Reid; 3 Tony Lochhead, 5 Ivan Vicelich, 7 Simon Elliott, 11 Leo Bertos; 9 Shane Smeltz, 14 Rory Fallon, 10 Chris Killen.

Referee:
Carlos Batres (Guatemala)

Substitutions Substitutions:
46 Mins (Italy) - 10 Antonio Di Natale on for 11 Alberto Gilardino
46 Mins (Italy) - 16 Mauro Camoranesi on for 7 Simone Pepe
61 Mins (Italy) - 20 Giampaolo Pazzini  on for 15 Claudio Marchisio
63 Mins (New Zealand) - 20 Chris Wood on for 14 Rory Fallon

Yellow Cards 3 Yellow Cards:
14 Mins - Rory Fallon (New Zealand)
28 Mins - Tommy Smith (New Zealand)
87 Mins - Ryan Nelsen (New Zealand)

Red Cards 0 Red Cards.

Previous Encounters:
Although we can't draw much conclusion from a one-off friendly match, Italy only narrowly beat New Zealand (4:3); in Atteridgeville, 2009.

The Road to The Final

2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.

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First Round

Friday, 11th June
South Africa vs Mexico
Uruguay vs France

Saturday, 12th June
Argentina vs Nigeria
England vs USA
South Korea vs Greece

Sunday, 13th June
Algeria vs Slovenia
Germany vs Australia
Serbia vs Ghana

Monday, 14th June
Holland vs Denmark
Italy vs Paraguay
Japan vs Cameroon

Tuesday, 15th June
Brazil vs North Korea
Côte d'Ivoire vs Portugal
New Zealand vs Slovakia

Wednesday, 16th June
Honduras vs Chile
South Africa vs Uruguay
Spain vs Switzerland

Thursday, 17th June
Argentina vs South Korea
France vs Mexico
Greece vs Nigeria

Friday, 18th June
England vs Algeria
Germany vs Serbia
Slovenia vs USA

Saturday, 19th June
Cameroon vs Denmark
Ghana vs Australia
Holland vs Japan

Sunday, 20th June
Brazil vs Côte d'Ivoire
Italy vs New Zealand
Slovakia vs Paraguay

Monday, 21st June
Chile vs Switzerland
Portugal vs North Korea
Spain vs Honduras

Tuesday, 22nd June
France vs South Africa
Greece vs Argentina
Mexico vs Uruguay
Nigeria vs South Korea

Wednesday, 23rd June
Australia vs Serbia
Ghana vs Germany
Slovenia vs England
USA vs Algeria

Thursday, 24th June
Cameroon vs Holland
Denmark vs Japan
Paraguay vs New Zealand
Slovakia vs Italy

Friday, 25th June
Chile vs Spain
North Korea vs Côte d'Ivoire
Portugal vs Brazil
Switzerland vs Honduras

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Group A
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Mexico
South Africa
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Group B
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Greece
Nigeria
South Korea

Group C
Algeria
England
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USA

Group D
Australia
Germany
Ghana
Serbia

Group E
Cameroon
Denmark
Holland
Japan

Group F
Italy
New Zealand
Paraguay
Slovakia

Group G
Brazil
Côte d'Ivoire
North Korea
Portugal

Group H
Chile
Honduras
Spain
Switzerland

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