Italy – USA 1-1

What an incredibly rough and tough game. USA coach Bruce Arena, after the heavy defeat against the Czechs, declared this game to be a war…and go to war they did…but the Italians were no pushovers physically.

The first twenty minutes had an American mark to them as they shut-out Italy very well indeed. But from a free-kick, Gilardino powered the ball past a hapless Keller. Only 5 minutes had passed before Zaccardo sliced into his own net to score an incredible own-goal. I’m sure that if he tried it another hundred times he wouldn’t manage to do it again.

Following that goal, De Rossi lost his head, elbowing McBride in the face while in a jump. Instant red, both for the Italian midfielder,and for Mc.Bride, who required three stiches before he could come on again.

A couple of minutes later, the USA continued its’ rough play, with Mastroeni entering into a recklessly wild two-footed lunge at Pirlo. There could be only one outcome…Off to the showers lad!!!

The second half started badly for the USA again. Eddie Pope sprang wildly at Totti, earning him another yellow card….this was way too late.He should have been sent off in the first half.

The match continued with a string of saves from Keller, who did his best to keep out the blues. His final save on Del Piero was nothing short of spectacular and miraculous.

A score of 1-1 then, with USA enjoying early possesion, but the Italians, ever so cynic, were able to contain the Americans, then hit on the counter-attack. The second half was of an Italian stamp, not being able to score though.

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