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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Renzo Barbera (ATT 28,662) 6th September 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: C Velasco Carballo

Italy Italy vs Bulgaria Bulgaria

Italy 1

A Gilardino (38)

ft

Bulgaria 0

World Cup qualifier: Alberto Giladino heads Italy to victory over Bulgaria

Last Updated: 06/09/13 10:51pm

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Alberto Gilardino: His header claimed three points for Italy

Alberto Gilardino: His header claimed three points for Italy

Alberto Gilardino edged Italy closer to a place in the World Cup finals as his goal earned a 1-0 win over Bulgaria.

Italy had gone into the game needing two wins from four remaining matches and victory put them seven points clear of nearest challengers Bulgaria in Group B.

With third-placed Czech Republic losing 2-1 at home to Armenia, Gilardino's goal not only gave Italy a narrow win in Palermo, it also edged them closer to a place in next summer's World Cup.

Italy had gone into the game at the Renzo Barbera as leaders of Group B and came out 1-0 winners thanks to Gilardino's goal towards the end of the first half.

Italy signalled their intent in the first minute when Gilardino shot from the edge of the area but Bulgaria keeper Nikolay Mihailov was able to make a comfortable save.

The home side continued to exert pressure, with Gilardino at the centre of most of their best moves, but did not force the first goal inside the opening half hour.

The visitors created their first opening after 17 minutes but when it fell to Aleksandar Tonev he fired wide from 30 yards as Bulgaria failed to create much against the group leaders.

Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi both shot from distance as Italy tried to prise open a resolute Bulgaria defence and with 25 minutes gone Lorenzo Insigne shot from 25 yards out but Mihailov got down to tip his effort round the post.

Italy made the breakthrough their play deserved with 37 minutes gone when Gilardino headed them in front.

Antonio Candreva crossed from the left and Gilardino was well placed to pick his spot and head in from close range.

Italy forced a series of free-kicks as the half wore on but failed to find a second goal and they nearly paid for not being able to increase their lead.

A minute into the second half Bulgaria's Ivelin Popov shot from close in but the ever reliable Gianluigi Buffon came to his side's rescue as he parried the effort.

Insigne was presented with two chances early in the second half but fired over the bar and then saw Mihailov make a comfortable save from his next effort.

Bulgaria forced successive corners but when the ball broke from the second Dimitar Rangelov's shot was off target.

With 20 minutes to go Bulgaria's Todor Nedelev shot off target as the visitors began to come more into the game.

The momentum swung the other way but Italy failed to convert chances from two Pirlo corners as the home side held a slender advantage.

Candreva tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area but did not find the target and then Popov saw his effort from further out blocked by Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

With six minutes remaining the only down side for Italy came when Emanuele Giaccherini was booked for a foul on Todor Nedelev.

Italy continued to press for a second goal but they had already done enough with Gilardino's goal to secure victory.

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  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Fri 6th Sep - Group F
    • Russia
      4 - 1
      Luxembourg
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    • N Ireland
      2 - 4
      Portugal
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    Fri 6th Sep - Group C
    Fri 6th Sep - Group B
    Fri 6th Sep - Group A
    Fri 6th Sep - Group E
    Fri 6th Sep - Group H
    Fri 6th Sep - Group D
    Fri 6th Sep - Group G
    • Latvia
      2 - 1
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    • Bos&Herz
      0 - 1
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    • Liechtenstein
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    Fri 6th Sep - Group I

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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