Italy v Ghana, 12 June 2006

Score2-0 to Italy
RefereeCarlos EugĂȘnio Simon
CompetitionFIFA World Cup Finals group E
VenueAWD-Arena, Hannover
Attendance43,000
Kick-Off: 21:00 Local (20:00 BST) Assistant referees: Aristeu Tavares (Brazil) EdnĂ­lson Corona (Brazil) Fourth official: Khalil Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia) Fifth official: Hamdi Al Kadri (Syria) Man of the Match: Andrea Pirlo (Italy) Italy got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start with a deserved victory over Ghana in Hanover. Andrea Pirlo opened the scoring with a rasping long-range drive in the first half and substitute Vincenzo Iaquinta extended the advantage near the end. World Cup debutants Ghana played their part in an entertaining match and defender Emmanuel Pappoe wasted their best chance before the interval.

2  Italy

Manager: Marcello Lippi

0  Ghana

Manager: Ratomir Dujkovic

Goals:

Andrea Pirlo 40 G
Vincenzo Iaquinta 83 G

Goals:

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
Defender Fabio Cannavaro (captain)
Defender Alessandro Nesta
Defender/Midfielder Fabio Grosso
Midfielder Daniele De Rossi
Midfielder Simone Perrotta
Forward Andrea Pirlo
Forward Luca Toni
Forward Francesco Totti

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Richard Kingson
Defender Samuel Kuffour
Defender John Mensah
Defender Emmanuel Pappoe
Defender/Centre back Eric Addo
Defender/Midfielder John Pantsil
Midfielder Stephan Appiah (captain)
Midfielder Michael Essien
Midfielder Sulley Muntari
Forward Matthew Amoah
Forward Asamoah Gyan

Substitutions:

Mauro Camoranesi for Francesco Totti 56
Vincenzo Iaquinta for Alberto Gilardino 64
Alessandro Del Piero for Luca Toni 82

Substitutions:

Shilla Illiasu for Emmanuel Pappoe 46
Razak Pimpong for Matthew Amoah 68
Alex Tachie-Mensah for Asamoah Gyan 89

Cards:

Daniele De Rossi 10 Y
Mauro Camoranesi 62 Y
Vincenzo Iaquinta 88 Y

Cards:

Sulley Muntari 41 Y
Asamoah Gyan 65 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Marco Amelia
Goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi
Defender Andrea Barzagli
Defender Massimo Oddo
Defender/Centre back Marco Materazzi
Defender/Midfielder Gianluca Zambrotta
Midfielder Simone Barone
Midfielder Mauro Camoranesi
Midfielder Gennaro Gattuso
Forward Filippo Inzaghi

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Sammy Adjei
Goalkeeper George Owu
Defender Shilla Illiasu
Defender Habib Mohammed
Defender Dan Quaye
Midfielder Otto Addo
Midfielder Haminu Dramani
Midfielder Hans Sarpei
Midfielder/Forward Derek Boateng
Forward Razak Pimpong

Comments:

This was Italy's first meeting with Ghana at 'A' international level. However, they failed to beat the African nation in their two encounters in the Olympics - a 2-3 defeat in USA in 1996 and a 2-2 in Greece in 2004. This victory ended a three match winless run for Italy in World Cup finals. Their longest ever such streak was five matches (two in 1978, three in 1982), and that was followed by four wins culminating in their World Cup triumph of 1982. Italy are now unbeaten in 19 international matches. This marks the longest undefeated sequence for the Italians since 1939. Their last loss came on 9 October 2004, in the World Cup qualifier in Slovenia.

Comments:

This was Ghana's first game in the World Cup finals. Uniquely to this tournament, Ghana's 23-man squad play for 23 different clubs. Ghana fielded the youngest line-up in the tournament so far.