UC Sampdoria forward Fabio Quagliarella ended an exciting season in the perfect manner by scoring both goals in Italy's 2-0 Group B win against Lithuania.
Quagliarella has made a habit of scoring special goals this year. Among the 13 he scored in Serie A were overhead kicks, fine volleys and shots from distance including one from 40 metres against AC Chievo Verona. The 23-year-old's summer break will now start on an enormous high as he marked his third appearance for Italy with his first two international goals in Kaunas.
Celebrating his first start with the Azzurri shirt after playing only four minutes in each of the qualifiers against Scotland and the Faroe Islands, Quagliarella opened the scoring with a powerful left-footed shot after 31 minutes and made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time with a dipping shot from the right to help Italy maintain second place in their UEFA EURO 2008™ section.
'It went well'
"I liked the second goal more as it was not easy to place it exactly where I wanted from that position," the former Torino FC and Ascoli Calcio 1898 forward said. "I tried to give my best to repay the faith that the coach [Roberto Donadoni] and my team-mates have put in me and it went well. I could not have asked for a better way to end the season."
The world champions' fifth consecutive Group B win was a relief for Donadoni after a narrow 2-1 triumph in the Faroes saw his side come in for criticism. "You cannot always play at 100 per cent especially at the end of the season when you don't have much energy left," said Quagliarella. "However tonight we were much closer to the real Italy than the game against the Faroe Islands." The Azzurri face France and Ukraine in their next qualifiers in September.
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