Tuesday October 11, 2011 Group Stage: Group C Finished Stadio Adriatico

Italy 3 - 0 Northern Ireland

  • Cassano 21’, 53’
  • McAuley 74’ (o.g.)

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  1. Euro 2012 qual. - Cassano sinks Northern Ireland

    Euro 2012 qual. - Cassano sinks Northern Ireland

    Antonio Cassano struck twice and Gareth McAuley scored an OG as Northern Ireland ended the Euro 2012 qualifiers with a 3-0 loss in Italy. More

  • Live Commentary

    • Italy
    • Northern Ireland
    • 90' That's it. Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland.
    • 88' Northern Ireland simply playing down the clock here. De Rossi tries to pick out Osvaldo with a long ball but Taylor claims.
    • 85' Prandelli is still prowling the touchline, urging Italy to score a fourth. It wouldn't flatter them.
    • 82' It's a damage limitation exercise for Northern Ireland at the moment. Montolivo sees an effort go over the bar after five minutes of solid Italy possession.
    • 78' Taylor keping this respectable. This time denying Giovinco's volley with a superb reflex save.
    • 76' Further misery for NI as McAuley scores an own goal. Pirlo spots the run of left-back Balzaretti, whose cross bounces off the chest of McAuley, who can do nothing as the ball goes into his own net.
    • 75' GOAL! 3-0 Italy
    • 72' Taylor saves NI again, this time with an excellent save low to his right from Montolivo's low drive.
    • 70' Italy have resumed on top once again, patiently waiting for gaps to emerge.
    • 67' Chance for Northern Ireland and it's the substitute Feeney! The ball is hopefully played into the box by Gorman and Chiellini misses his kick allowing the fresh sub to miss from just a few yards out!
    • 65' NI sub: Feeney on, Healy off. Healy has had a disappointing night - isolated all night long.
    • 63' Italy sub: Osvaldo on, Cassano off. That's Cassano's work doen for the night. Two goals and he's off.
    • 61' Aquilani, who has been one of the star performers tonight, latches onto Montolivo's cushioned pass and hammers a shot towards goal from 20 yards - but Taylor saves. Again.
    • 58' Aquilani lofts a ball over the top of the NI defence for Pirlo, who had trotted into the box. But the pass was rather ambitious and Taylor gathers.
    • 55' Cassano on a hat-trick now, of course.
    • 54' Cassano scores his second with another assured finish. Collecting Aquilani's pass the AC Milan striker fires a superb low effort inside the far post from 20 yards.
    • 53' GOAL! Cassano makes it 2-0
    • 52' Italy seem determined to score from distance at the moment. Montolivo is the latest to see a decent shot go just off target, fizzing wide of the post.
    • 50' Aquilani has an effort from a similar distance a few moments later with his left foot. His shot gets through to Taylor, but he makes a straightforward save.
    • 48' Cassano tries his luck from 25 yards and his shot deflects off Gorman for a corner, a corner which NI clear.
    • 46' KICK OFF!
    • 45' Join me in 12 minutes or so for the second half. Why not Tweet me your half time comments too?
    • 45' Italy lead 1-0 at half time and it's the least that they deserve after an utterly dominant first half by the 2006 World Champions. Northern Ireland have had a couple of sights at goal, namely that chance for McGivern that was well saved by Buffon.
    • 45' HALF TIME
    • 45' Giovinco attempts a spectacular overhead kick from 12 yards out but it goes just over. Great effort by the talented Parma forward.
    • 44' Right back Cassani bursts into the penalty box after receiving a return pass from De Rossi and, under pressure from McGivern, takes a tumble in the box. It was little more than opportunism, if you ask me.
    • 43' But, if you haven't guessed, Italy are running the show here. They could be at least 3-0 up by now and Nigel Worthington's side are counting down the seconds to half time, you feel.
    • 41' Davis leads a rare Northern Ireland counter attack and finds Gorman on the left wing, but he is tackled by the recovering Cassani.
    • 38' Montolivo breaks down the right but his dangerous ball into the box is stabbed clear, but only to De Rossi. De Rossi finds Giovinco at the far post, but his left foot effort is blocked.
    • 36' Pirlo is pulling all the strings tonight - as you'd expect. His beautiful ball finds Cassano but the attacker can't put the fine touch required on the ball and Taylor comes out to gather.
    • 33' Great play by Giovinco. The Parma striker sells Hodson a dummy by feigning to shoot with his right foot from the edge of the box before cutting badk onto his left, but hits a rising drive just over the bar.
    • 30' Little wins the foot race with Balzaretti before appearing to be tugged down as he shoots. Very risky by Balzaretti and I'd argue that the Palermo defender has got away with at least a yellow card there.
    • 28' Great save by Buffon! McGivern glances the ball towards the corner but Buffon shows he's still got it, stretching low to his right to palm the ball away.
    • 26' De Rossi fires over from distance but Italy are threatening to run riot. The visitors need to get agrip.
    • 24' Italy all over Northern Ireland now. Cassano cuts in from the right and crosses for Aquilani at the far post but his header is off target.
    • 22' Brilliant, brilliant finish by Cassano but terrible defending by Northern Ireland. The ball drops over his shoulder and he sweeps a low volley inside the far post. Beautiful finish.
    • 21' GOAL! Cassano scores for Italy!
    • 21' Chiellini comes close for Italy! Giovinco's inswinging corner from the left glances off the top of Little's head and Chiellini, attacking the ball at the far post, puts his header wide from just a couple of yards out.
    • 20' Italy maintaining quite a high intensity here as they win another corner.
    • 18' Seems like Italy's attackers are not on the same wavelength as the midfielders at the moment. Cassano again is too slow to a through ball.
    • 16' Pirlo again looks for Giovinco, this time with a ball over the top that Taylor spots and comes out early to pluck from the air.
    • 14' Giovinco tries to latch onto Pirlo's through ball but it's just too far ahead of the striker.
    • 12' Gorman whips in a corner but Aquilani heads clear from under his own crossbar! The visitors holding their own in the early stages, despite Italy's territorial dominance.
    • 10' Canno bursts into the box but he gets the ball caught under his feet just as he looks to put a cross in from the left.
    • 8' Little almost takes advantage of hesitation by Chiellini at the back, but Buffon is quick off his line to palm the ball out for a Northern Ireland corner.
    • 5' All Italy in the early stages here as Giovinco comes close, firing his shot on target but straight at Taylor.
    • 1' KICK OFF!
    • 19.40 We are tantalisingly close to kick off in Italy. Why not send me your comments on Twitter and I'll stick a few of them in as we go...
    • 19.35 ITALY: Buffon, Cassani, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti, Montolivo, De Rossi, Pirlo, Aquilani, Giovinco, Cassano. Subs: De Sanctis, Maggio, Cigarini, Osvaldo, Astori, Rossi, Nocerino. NORTHERN IRELAND: Taylor, Hodson, Baird, McAuley, McGivern, Little, Norwood, Evans, Gorman, Davis, Healy. Subs: Mannus, McLaughlin, Feeney, McCourt, McGinn.
    • 19.30 The full teams are in...
    • 19.30 The Azzurri have hit 17 goals in nine games, conceding just twice en route to securing automatic qualification. Parma forward Sebastian Giovinco partners Antonio Cassano up front for Italy, with Palermo's Federico Balzaretti and Fiorentina's Mattia Cassani also handed start.
    • 19.25 Northern Ireland are without several key players because of injury and suspension as they aim to restore some pride after a disappointing campaign that has so far yielded two wins, three draws and four defeats.
    • 19.20 "There were genuine mistakes in the last three games, something that was not there in the previous matches," Worthington said on Monday. "I think I've gone as far as I can with the group we've got. I feel it is only right to give the association and players the opportunity and time to move forward and that is why I have decided that Tuesday night's game will be my last in charge."
    • 19.10 Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington takes charge for the last time, having tendered his resignation after last week's 2-1 home defeat to Estonia.
    • 19.00 Hello everyone. Welcome to live coverage of this Euro 2012 qualifier between Italy and Northern Ireland from the Stadio Adriatico.
  • Summary

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Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Italy

    Manager: Cesare Prandelli

  • Northern Ireland

    Manager: Nigel Worthington

  • Line-up

  • Rate Players

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Substitution Out76′ 7.1 -
      5.8 -
      6.3 -
      6.5 -
      5.8 -
      6.9 -
      5.9 -
      6.5 -
      Substitution Out68′ 5.8 -
      Goals ×2 Substitution Out56′ 7.6 -
      6.5 -
      Substitution In76′ 6.1 -
      Substitution In68′ 6 -
      Substitution In56′ 5.9 -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      6.6 -
      6.1 -
      Own Goal 6.2 -
      5.8 -
      6 -
      Substitution Out73′ 6.2 -
      6.2 -
      6.3 -
      6.1 -
      Substitution Out77′ 6.3 -
      Substitution Out65′ 6.2 -
      Substitution In65′ 6.4 -
      Substitution In77′ 5.3 -
      Substitution In73′ 5.2 -

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