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Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Pirlo condemns Aussies to defeat
Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo netted Italy's late winner
Italy 1-0 Australia

An late Andrea Pirlo goal nine minutes from time helped Italy to a 1-0 victory over hosts Australia in front of a Melbourne crowd of more than 93,000.

An error by Australia's Hayden Foxe allowed Italian substitute Massimo Margiotta to create the opportunity for Pirlo, but the highly-rated forward almost wasted the chance as his effort crept over the line off the inside of a post.

It was tough on the home side who had taken the game to an opposing side packed with Serie A players and they had a number of chances of their own before Pirlo's strike.

Australia disputed that the ball had actually crossed the line, but Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast correctly ruled that the goal would stand.

The first half had been a disappointing affair, with few chances, but the second period provided far greater entertainment for the massed crowd.

Last-gasp

In Adelaide reigning Olympic champions Nigeria came from two goals down to grab a last-gasp 3-3 draw against lowly Honduras in their opening Group A match, while in Group C, the USA and the Czech Republic shared four goals in Canberra.

Chris Albright and Josh Wolff put America ahead on each occasion, only for Marek Jankulovski and a Lukas Dosek penalty to twice level matters.

The other Group C game in Brisbane saw Cameroon record a 3-2 victory over Kuwait.

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See also:

13 Sep 00 |  Football
Women kick-off Olympic football
30 Aug 00 |  Football
Cameroon lose French pair
11 Sep 00 |  Football
Double injury blow hits Nigeria
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