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Italy complete Group 9 comeback

Published: Sunday 12 October 2003, 0.39CET
Italy 4-0 Azerbaijan Filippo Inzaghi scores twice as Italy book finals place.

Match statistics

ItalyAzerbaijan

Goals scored4
 
0
Yellow cards0
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:57 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Sunday 12 October 2003, 0.39CET

Italy complete Group 9 comeback

Italy 4-0 Azerbaijan Filippo Inzaghi scores twice as Italy book finals place.

Italy are through to the UEFA EURO 2004™ finals after a composed performance saw them beat Azerbaijan 4-0 at the Oreste Granillo in Reggio Calabria on Saturday night.

No danger
The result was never in any danger once Christian Vieri had put the home side ahead after 15 minutes and further strikes from Filippo Inzaghi (2) and Marco Di Vaio completed the rout.

Impressive comeback
It is a remarkable achievement by Italy who looked doomed in October last year after only picking up one point from the Group 9 games against Serbia and Montenegro at home and Wales away. However, they have since beaten all their group opponents at least once and seized control of the group with a 4-0 defeat of Wales last month.

Attacking triumvirate
Against Azerbaijan, coach Giovanni Trapattoni was without Alessandro Del Piero but, as against Wales, he started with three forwards with Francesco Totti coming in for Del Piero. Azerbaijan, meanwhile, were without suspended pair Tarlan Akhmedov and Ruslan Musayev as well as injured strikers Farrukh Ismaylov and Gurban Gurbanov.

Slick Italian move
Italy immediately seized the initiative and put the visitors under pressure. Vieri had a goal ruled out for offside in the fifth minute before giving Italy the lead ten minutes later. Mauro Camoranesi instigated the move and found Cristiano Zanetti outside the area. The Internazionale FC midfield player flicked the ball into Vieri's path and the forward made no mistake when one-on-one with Dmitriy Kramarenko.

Attack-minded full-backs
The goal did not stop the home side from pouring forward. The Azeris defended bravely but were unable to stop the impressive home side with full-backs Massimo Oddo, a late replacement for the injured Christian Panucci, and Gianluca Zambrotta creating havoc in the Azerbaijan defence.

Kramarenko pain
And it was from one of those attacks that Italy made it 2-0. Oddo raced down the right and floated in a cross, which evaded the whole Azeri backline and dropped perfectly for Inzaghi to head home from his position at the far post, giving Dmitriy Kramarenko in the Azerbaijan goal no chance.

Di Vaio impact
The Italian onslaught continued in the second half although the visitors saw slightly more of the ball. An unimpressed Vieri was replaced by Marco Di Vaio in the 54th minute and the Juventus FC forward needed only ten minutes to make it 3-0, collecting a Totti pass in the area and firing past substitute goalkeeper Jahangir Hasanzade.

Inzaghi brace
There was also time for another goal from Inzaghi, a fierce effort from another perfectly weighted Totti though-ball, to make it five goals in two games for the AC Milan forward following his hat-trick against Wales. In the end, the 4-0 win was more than enough to seal top spot in Group 9 on 17 points, four points ahead of second-placed Wales.

'Normal reaction'
After the game Vieri, who had earlier appeared to ignore the congratulations of his coach when he was substituted, moved to defuse any controversy. "My reaction was normal," he said. "I am someone with a desire to play and to win, and score goals. There is no problem with the coach - we spoke about it after the match."

Last updated: 12/10/03 0.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1579/match=69273/postmatch/report/index.html#italy+complete+group+comeback

Lineups

Italy

Italy

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

1
BuffonGianluigi Buffon (GK)
1
KramarenkoDmitriy Kramarenko (GK)
Substitution56
2
OddoMassimo Oddo
2
AgaevEmin Agaev
3
ZambrottaGianluca Zambrotta
3
A. KerimovAslan Kerimov
4
ZanettiCristiano Zanetti
4
ImamaliyevEmin Imamaliyev
5
CannavaroFabio Cannavaro
5
E. GuliyevEmin Guliyev
6
NestaAlessandro Nesta
Substitution76
6
K. GuliyevKamal Guliyev
Yellow Card44
7
CamoranesiMauro Camoranesi
Substitution86
7
M.GurbanovMakhmud Gurbanov
Substitution82
8
PerrottaSimone Perrotta
8
TagizadeZaur Tagizade
Substitution74
9
VieriChristian Vieri
Goal15
Substitution55
13
YadullayevIlham Yadullayev
10
TottiFrancesco Totti
14
R. F. SadygovRashad F. Sadygov
11
F. InzaghiFilippo Inzaghi
Goal23
Goal86
17
AliyevSamir Aliyev

Substitutes

12
ToldoFrancesco Toldo (GK)
12
HasanzadeJahangir Hasanzade (GK)
Substitution56
14
FerrariMatteo Ferrari
Substitution76
10
VasilyevVadim Vasilyev
Substitution74
15
GattusoGennaro Gattuso
Substitution86
15
Ramiz MammadovRamiz Mammadov
Substitution82
19
Di VaioMarco Di Vaio
Substitution55
Goal64
9
GashimovZaur Gashimov
13
PancaroGiuseppe Pancaro
11
GasanovNamik Gasanov
16
FioreStefano Fiore
16
NabiyevNadir Nabiyev
18
CorradiBernardo Corradi
18
GafitullinRuslan Gafitullin

Coach

Giovanni Trapattoni (ITA) Asgar Abdullayev (AZE)

Referee

Stuart Dougal (SCO)

Assistant referees

Wilson Irvine (SCO), David Doig (SCO)

Fourth official

Kenneth William Clark (SCO)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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