Italy Has Shock Draw to New Zealand in World Cup
Relative newcomers New Zealand, who have only ever competed once before in the prestigious World Cup back in 1982, have shocked the world of soccer with their aggressive style of play and high flying aerial challenges.
The former champions Italy (Azzurri) were visibly shaken by New Zealand scoring first in the 7th minute, when a ball came off Italy’s captain Fabio Cannavaro’s hip and handed an easy goal to Shane Smeltz who tapped it in.
Italy who are still without their preferred goal keeper Buffon, dubbed the worlds most expensive goalie, seemingly lacked control of their usual cutting edge ball handling skills. There were some tremendous shots for the back of the net that did not pay off for Azzurri until the 29th minute where they managed to equalize from a penalty shot taken by Vincenzo Iaquinta. The rather dubious penalty, according to the New Zealanders was awarded when De Rossi fell in the area after contact with defender Tommy Smith.
This latest match has definitely catapulted New Zealand in to contention as the surprise team of the tournament. This young, fledgling side with two draws under its belt in the opening matches against Slovakia and Italy in Group F is now being watched more closely by many. Equal with Italy on points and only two points behind group leader Paraguay, the Kiwis have one more first-round match still to come.
This Thursday they will match up with current leaders Paraguay, who they must beat to ensure a spot in the round of 16. If this small island nation can cause an upset with some of the world’s best teams remains yet to be seen, but so far they have proved that they are here to play and they are serious.
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