Sunday, June 20, 2010
Italy vs New Zealand
The Kiwis did the impossible today. While they didn't get a victory, the 78th ranked team in the world held the defending World Champion, 5th ranked Italy, to a 1-1 draw.
Shane Smeltz scored in just the 7th minute, off a free kick that was pushed towards the goal by captain Fabio Cannavaro's thigh. The Azzurri scored off a penalty kick in the 29th minute by Vincenzo Iaquinta. A cross came through the box, and Daniele De Rossi was questionably forced down by Tommy Smith of New Zealand.
The second half was full of furious and desperate efforts by each team to unknot the match. Even with an extra 4 minutes added on, neither team could break free. A fantastic game by New Zealand, and a stunning disappointment for Italy, who are now in danger of not making it to the Round of 16 after winning the Cup just 4 years ago.