Select a Team

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Hrazdan (ATT 32,000) 12th October 2012 - Kick off 18:00 Ref: M Strahonja

Armenia Armenia vs Italy Italy

Armenia 1

H Mkhitaryan (27)

ft

Italy 3

A Pirlo (pen 11)
D De Rossi (64)
D Osvaldo (81)

Azzurri battle past Armenia

Pirlo, De Rossi and Osvaldo on target in 3-1 victory

Last Updated: 12/10/12 8:19pm

  • Share:
Andrea Pirlo: Broke the deadlock for Italy against Armenia

Andrea Pirlo: Broke the deadlock for Italy against Armenia

Italy laboured to victory over Armenia as their largely unimpressive World Cup qualifying campaign continued.

Goals from Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi and Pablo Osvaldo saw the Italians to the three points, while Armenia Mkhitaryan was on target for the hosts in a 3-1 defeat.

Prior to the match, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said the return of Mario Balotelli for the first time since Euro 2012 was the key to getting his team firing, only to lose the Manchester City man once again to a fever.

And in his absence, Italy looked short of cutting edge as they struggled to break down their hosts and found themselves on the back foot for much of the match.

The early signs had been promising for Italy, with Pirlo's fourth-minute free-kick forcing Roman Berezovsky into an excellent save after Hrayr Mkoyan was penalised for handball.

It was from another set-piece that they took the lead in the 10th minute, with Mkoyan yet again the villain for Armenia as he handled in the area, earning a yellow card and conceding a penalty which Pirlo placed in the bottom left-hand corner.

But while they had benefited from Mkoyan's overeager hands, Italy were failing to create anything themselves, and it was Armenia who looked the more dangerous in front of goal against a rather flat performance from the visitors.

Aras Ozbiliz's curling free-kick forced Gianluigi Buffon into action in the 14th minute before Artur Edigaryan and Artak Yedigaryan missed the target with efforts from the edge of the area.

De Rossi had a chance to double Italy's lead in the 27th minute but blazed over from close range, and it proved costly as Armenia levelled moments later when Mkhitaryan fired in left-footed.

That at least stirred Italy into action, but Berezovsky comfortably held Sebastian Giovinco's shot in their best opening.

Take a grip

Armenia continued to attack, with Ozbiliz and Robert Arzumanyan both working Buffon before the break, while Riccardo Montolivo lashed wide just before the break.

Giovinco blasted over from close range early in the second half, but it was hardly a sign of a vastly improved Italian performance and instead Armenia continued to enjoy the better of the chances.

Mkhitaryan fired wide from a good position before Davit Manoyan's effort forced another good save from Buffon, who stretched to push it around the post.

The Juventus veteran was less convincing in handling Ozbiliz's 58th-minute shot but did enough to keep it out.

Domenico Criscito's shot on the hour mark went wide for Italy, but some good news was coming for Prandelli as De Rossi made up for his earlier miss by powering in a header from Pirlo's cross in the 64th minute.

A Pirlo corner moments later almost brought a third but Montolivo fired over.

Italy did at least look to have finally taken a grip on the game, however, with a close-range chance from Yura Movsisyan in the 74th minute the only other sight of goal Armenia would get.

Instead, it was Italy who prospered, and after Emanuele Giaccherini had fired over Osvaldo headed in a third with 10 minutes to go, getting up to meet De Rossi's cross.

  • Share:

Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Fri 12th Oct - Group F
    Fri 12th Oct - Group I
    Fri 12th Oct - Group B
    Fri 12th Oct - Group C
    • Faroe Islands
      1 - 2
      Sweden
      bet
      TV
    • Kazakhstan
      0 - 0
      Austria
      bet
      TV
    • Rep Ireland
      1 - 6
      Germany
      bet
      TV
    Fri 12th Oct - Group E
    Fri 12th Oct - Group G
    • Liechtenstein
      0 - 2
      Lithuania
      bet
      TV
    • Slovakia
      2 - 1
      Latvia
      bet
      TV
    • Greece
      0 - 0
      Bos & Herz
      bet
      TV
    Fri 12th Oct - Group D
    Fri 12th Oct - Group H
    Fri 12th Oct - Group A

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

Related