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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Stadio Olimpico (ATT 18,000) 11th September 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: Antti Munukka

Italy Italy vs Malta Malta

Italy 2

M Destro (5)
F Peluso (90+2)

ft

Malta 0

Italy fail to impress

Last Updated: 11/09/12 10:38pm

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Italy celebrate victory in Modena.

Italy celebrate victory in Modena.

Italy claimed their first win of the World Cup qualifying campaign although it was a less than convincing performance in the 2-0 victory against Group B minnows Malta in Modena.

Goals at either end of the match from Mattia Destro and Federico Peluso sealed the points for the home side which sees them tied with Bulgaria on four points at the top of the standings.

However, they will not be happy with the manner of the win as they did little to show they had learned the lessons from last Friday's 2-2 draw with the Bulgarians.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli was looking for an improved performance on their opening qualifier and things looked hopeful when the Azzurri took the lead after just five minutes.

Claudio Marchisio's pass from the right landed at the feet of Destro, who smashed a shot into the bottom right corner from 18 yards.

Another goal almost followed five minutes later from an Alessandro Diamanti free-kick, but Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg did brilliantly to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Pablo Osvaldo had the home side's next chance soon after with a header from Andrea Pirlo's corner but the Roma striker steered the ball past the left post.

Another chance fell Osvaldo's way after 25 minutes as Italy continued to drive forward in numbers but defender Luke Dimech cleared the ball for the Maltese.

Pietro Ghedin's men had barely had a look-in so far but reminded the Italians of their presence on the half-hour with a long-range effort from Michael Mifsud which flew over the bar.

The Azzurri responded with a cross-shot from Diamanti which was easily saved by Hogg.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had been surplus to requirements for much of the half, but had to get his fingertips to a right-footed strike from Roderick Briffa after 33 minutes as Malta threatened a surprise equaliser.

The momentum quickly swung back Italy's way, however, although Leonardi Bonucci and Pirlo were both wasteful with chances before the interval.

Italy continued to rule the roost at the start of the season half and defender Andrei Agius had to clear a threatening strike from Lorenzo Insigne.

Osvaldo also saw his volley held by Hogg in the Malta goal as another chance went begging.

And nerves began to jangle around the Alberto Braglia stadium after 60 minutes when Briffa drilled a host narrowly over the bar for the unfancied visitors.

The midfielder unleashed another strike six minutes later which had to be booted out of the area by Antonio Nocerino, before Italy launched an attack down the other end which resulted in Claudio Marchisio firing over the bar.

The home side began to settle down once more and Bonucci put another effort high of the mark before Destro saw his effort saved by Hogg as Malta continued to frustrate their opponents.

Giampaolo Pazzini was unable to turn the Azzurri's fortunes either, smashing the ball past the left post but they eventually made the breakthrough in stoppage time when Pirlo's corner was neatly headed home by Peluso.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 11th Sep - Group E
    Tue 11th Sep - Group F
    Tue 11th Sep - Group I
    Tue 11th Sep - Group D
    Tue 11th Sep - Group B
    Tue 11th Sep - Group G
    • Bos & Herz
      4 - 1
      Latvia
      bet
      TV
    • Slovakia
      2 - 0
      Liechtenstein
      bet
      TV
    • Greece
      2 - 0
      Lithuania
      bet
      TV
    Tue 11th Sep - Group A
    Tue 11th Sep - Group H
    Tue 11th Sep - Group C

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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