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Italy 2-0 Ghana
Monday, 12 June 2006


A Pirlo 40
V Iaquinta 83



D De Rossi 10yellow card
M Camoranesi 62yellow card
V Iaquinta 88yellow card


S Muntari 41yellow card
A Gyan 65yellow card



48% 52%

Shots on target

14 8

Shots off target

5 11


12 4


8 20


  • 01 G Buffon
  • 02 C Zaccardo
  • 13 A Nesta
  • 05 F Cannavaro
  • 03 F Grosso
  • 10 F Totti (56 M Camoranesi yellow card )
  • 20 S Perrotta
  • 21 A Pirlo
  • 04 D De Rossi yellow card
  • 9 L Toni (82 A Del Piero )
  • 11 A Gilardino (64 V Iaquinta yellow card )


  • 14 M Amelia,
  • 17 S Barone,
  • 06 A Barzagli,
  • 16 M Camoranesi,
  • 07 A Del Piero,
  • 08 G Gattuso,
  • 15 V Iaquinta,
  • 18 F Inzaghi,
  • 23 M Materazzi,
  • 22 M Oddo,
  • 12 A Peruzzi,
  • 19 G Zambrotta


  • 22 R Kingston
  • 15 J Pantsil
  • 04 S Kuffour
  • 05 J Mensah
  • 06 E Pappoe (45 I Shilla )
  • 11 S Muntari yellow card
  • 08 M Essien
  • 10 S Appiah
  • 18 E Addo
  • 03 A Gyan yellow card (89 A Tachie-Mensah )
  • 14 M Amoah (68 R Pimpong )


  • 20 O Addo,
  • 01 S Adjei,
  • 21 I Ahmed,
  • 09 D Boateng,
  • 23 H Dramani,
  • 13 H Mohamed,
  • 16 G Owu,
  • 19 R Pimpong,
  • 17 D Quaye,
  • 02 H Sarpei,
  • 07 I Shilla,
  • 12 A Tachie-Mensah

Ref: Carlos Eugenio Simon
Att: 43000


"Samuel Kuffour cuts a grief-stricken figure at the final whistle while Italy's smiles are tinged with relief after a tough test."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera in Hanover

FULL-TIME: Andrea Pirlo gives Italy a first-half lead before his pass leads to substitute Vincenzo Iaquinta wrapping up victory seven minutes from time.

92 mins: Ghana win a late corner - but it sums up their day as Italy easily intercept it.

90 mins: The fourth official indicates there will be three minutes of added time.

88 mins: Ghana make their last change, with Asamoah Gyan coming off to be replaced by Alex Techie-Mensah.

86 mins: Andrea Pirlo wins the acrobatics prize for the day, performing a dramatic roll after Michael Essien's challenge.

83 mins: GOAL: Italy 2-0 Ghana
Vincenzo Iaquinta wraps up Italy's win. Sammy Kuffour tries to pass back to his keeper but the striker steals in, beats Richard Kingston and slots home.

81 mins: Michael Essien shoots from distance but it's a tame effort. A shaven-headed Alessandro Del Piero comes on for Luca Toni, who gets a well-earned rest after a dynamic display.

79 mins: Ghana are beginning to get desperate. Asamoah Gyan throws himself to the ground in a bid to win a penalty but the canny referee is having none of it.

75 mins: Vincenzo Iaquinta is through on goal and is brought down by a shocking challenge from behind by Samuel Kuffour. Kuffour escapes any punishment because the linesman is already flagging for offside against Iaquinta. The Ghana man is extremely lucky.

72 mins: Daniele de Rossi's challenge on Asamoah Gyan has the Ghana fans screaming for a penalty - but they are pretty desperate pleas because Gyan went down very, very easily.

"Italy coach Marcelo Lippi shows his frustration at Simone Perrotta missing a glorious chance for Italy by kicking something in the dug-out."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera in Hanover

67 mins: Daniele de Rossi feeds Simone Perrotta, who wastes a superb chance to make it 2-0 by shooting too close to Ghana keeper Richard Kingston. The brilliantly named Razak Pimpong comes on for Ghana, replacing Matthew Amoah.

64 mins: Italy coach Marcello Lippi makes his first tactical change, bringing Udinese forward Vincenzo Iaquinta on for Alberto Gilardino.

62 mins: Mauro Camoranesi gets a yellow card only six minutes after coming on - for a cynical trip on Sully Muntari. The resulting free-kick from Michael Essien hits the wall harmlessly.

55 mins: Sickening scenes for Italy fans as Francesco Totti goes down grasping his right calf after a challenge with John Paintsil. Italy coach Marcello Lippi takes no chances and the playmaker limps off to be replaced by Mauro Camoranesi.

54 mins: Michael Essien's spectacular long-range effort is palmed away by Gianluigi Buffon.

"Ghana are beginning to look a bit ragged now."
BBC summariser Mark Lawrenson

51 mins: Alberto Gilardino breaks free on the right but his low drive is saved by Ghana keeper Richard Kingston.

47 mins: Shilla's first contribution is to lose the ball and Luca Toni is almost in on goal as a result.

2102 BST: The second half kicks off. Ghana make a change, Illiasu Shilla coming on for Emmanuel Pappoe.

"Italy coach Marcelo Lippi stood in his technical area for virtually all of the first half and cut an anxious figure before Andrea Pirlo's goal visibly lifted some tension off his shoulders, but he will be reinforcing to his side that they cannot afford to take Ghana lightly after a few scares in the opening period."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera in Hanover

PLAYER-RATER: Slightly surprisingly, Ghana midfielder Michael Essien heads your ratings at half-time with 7.91. Only Ghana's goalkeeper has less than seven. Luca Toni is Italy's best player with a rather stingy 6.07 - he is currently the only Italy player with a score of more than six.

"I'm really disappointed for Ghana because they had a lot of chances. They have showed they are able to cope with the Italians' pressure."
BBC analyst Marcel Desailly

HALF-TIME: Andrea Pirlo's strike gives Italy a half-time lead over a battling Ghana side.

45 mins: Italy aren't sitting back on their lead. The inspired Luca Toni is threatening a goal every time he gets the ball, and Francesco Totti is beginning to stamp his authority on the game after a quiet opening.

"Ghana can't afford to lose their belief now that goal has gone in."
BBC summariser Mark Lawrenson

40 mins: GOAL Italy 1-0 Ghana
Francesco Totti's corner reaches Andrea Pirlo outside the area and the midfielder arrows a shot through a group of players to give a relieved Italy the lead.

33 mins: Francesco Totti takes an ambitious free-kick from about 45 yards. In the end, the keeper does well to tip over the midfielder's swerving effort.

32 mins: Right-back Emmanuel Pappoe finds himself in space on the right of the penalty area but the excitement goes to his head and he blasts his shot well over the bar.

"What a great game this is, and it's still 0-0!"
BBC summariser Mark Lawrenson

29 mins: There's hardly time to draw breath between attacks. The lively Asamoah Gyan shoots narrowly wide as Gianluigi Buffon breathes a sigh of relief.

27 mins: A Geoff Hurst moment from Luca Toni. The striker powers forward and sees his venomous volley hit the crossbar and bounce onto the line - but not over it.

26 mins: Lovely build-up play from Ghana ends with Sulley Muntari ballooning a shot way over the crossbar.

22 mins: Ghana are beginning to warm to their task. Fabio Cannavaro shepherds the ball out, with Michael Essien threatening.

18 mins: Alessandro Nesta is forced to make a desperate clearing header with Asamoah Gyan waiting to head in Michael Essien's cross.

12 mins: Italy are inches away from the opening goal. Luca Toni stretches for Simone Perrotta's cross but can't quite reach it. Ghana keeper Richard Kingston scrambles away Alberto Gilardino's follow-up at the far post.

10 mins: Daniele de Rossi is shown a yellow card for a very late challenge on Ghana's Michael Essien. He protests it was his first foul. Ghana's free-kick comes to nothing.

7 mins: Richard Kingston was a surprise choice in Ghana's goal and he makes an extremely nervous start, flapping at two corners.

4 mins: Francesco Totti is almost unrecognisable with his newly cropped hair. The playmaker's first contribution is to run into trouble just outside the penalty area, as Ghana close in quickly.

1 min: Ghana, making their World Cup debut, look like they're trying to make up for lost time. The tackles are flying in and it's no surprise that Italy win the first free-kick of the game.

2000 BST: Ghana get the game under way in Hanover.


1955 BST: The Italy fans sing their anthem with great gusto, as their team stand with their arms around each other's shoulders.

"Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and former Juventus team-mate and Ghana captain Stephen Appiah share a few words and smiles before leading their teams out to a cacophony of sound."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera in Hanover

"I'm going for Italy, but with no great conviction."
BBC Sport analyst Alan Hansen

1943 BST: Francesco Totti is warming up with his Italy team-mates. The playmaker has admitted he is only 70% fit, but he will be protected by Roma team-mates Simone Perrotta and Daniele De Rossi.

"Italy will be hoping to lay a few demons to rest as they play their first World Cup fixture since the controversial exit to South Korea in the 2002 quarter-finals, but Ghana are eager to cause an upset. Italy coach Marcelo Lippi and his counterpart Ratomir Dujkovic are on the touchline as their teams warm-up while the AWD Arena is almost full with the Italian support making up the majority."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera in Hanover

1937 BST: Italy will be desperate to get off to a winning start, especially after the Czech Republic's impressive win over the USA earlier today. The team that finishes second in this group is likely to face Brazil in the second round.

"My heart goes with Ghana. I am sure they will do something special tonight."
BBC analyst Marcel Desailly (born in Ghana, played in Italy, represented France)

1933 BST: There are few surprises in Ghana's line-up. Richard Kingston is preferred to Sammy Adjei in goal. Captain Stephen Appiah, Chelsea's Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari make up the midfield.

1903 BST: The teams are in - and there's good news for Italy as influential midfielder Francesco Totti starts following his recovery from a broken leg.


Italy: Buffon, Zaccardo, Nesta, Cannavaro, Grosso, Totti, Perrotta, Pirlo, De Rossi, Toni, Gilardino. Subs: Amelia, Barone, Barzagli, Camoranesi, Del Piero, Gattuso, Iaquinta, Inzaghi, Materazzi, Oddo, Peruzzi, Zambrotta.

Ghana: Kingston, Pantsil, Kuffour, Mensah, Pappoe, Muntari, Essien, Appiah, Eric Addo, Gyan, Amoah. Subs: Otto Addo, Adjei, Ahmed, Boateng, Dramani, Mohamed, Owu, Pimpong, Quaye, Sarpei, Shilla, Tachie-Mensah.

Referee: Carlos Eugenio Simon (Brazil)

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