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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
How they qualified: Italy
Italy may not have qualified for the European Championship automatically if it had not been for other teams' inconsistencies.

ITALY'S PATH TO EURO 2004
Italy's Filippo Inzaghi
Results
07.09.02: Azerbaijan (a) 2-0
12.10.02: Serbia & M'gro (h) 1-1
16.10.02: Wales (a) 2-1
29.03.03: Finland (h) 2-0
11.06.03: Finland (a) 2-0
06.09.03: Wales (h) 4-0
10.09.03: Serbia & M'gro (a) 1-1
11.10.03: Azerbaijan (h) 4-0

The Azzurri began their campaign well with a 2-0 win away at Azerbaijan, but then suffered the ignominy of a 1-1 draw against Serbia and Montenegro at home.

If that was not bad enough, they were then stunned in the following match away to Wales.

Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni admitted after the 2-1 defeat that his opponents deserved the win, but it was not what the country's passionate fans wanted to hear.

What they wanted to hear was Trapattoni telling those baying for his blood that Italy were not going to fall foul of any more bad results.

The coach saved his words for the dressing room as Italy went on to win three of their next four matches, the most important of which was their avenging 4-0 defeat of Wales, who bwere a shadow of the team that once seemed destined for Portugal.

The final match saw Italy just needing a home draw against Azerbaijan to secure qualification.

They romped to an emphatic 4-0 win - much to the relief of Trapattoni.

GROUP NINE TABLE
Team P W D L GF GAPts
Italy 8 5 2 1 17 4 17
Wales 8 4 1 3 13 10 13
Serbia & M 8 3 3 2 11 11 12
Finland 8 3 1 4 9 10 10
Azerbaijan 8 1 1 6 5 20 4





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