Christian Panucci celebrates his match winner
Scotland’s dreams are dashed as Italy advance to Euro 2008.
If you are the Azzurri the best thing for your team’s fortune is to have a crisis in your country involving match fixing or riots which leads to giving of their best. It sounds morbid but with Calcipoli contributing to the Machiavellian nature of the domestic league leading to the tragic attempted suicide of Juventus manager of Gianluca Pessotto and their future livelihood in disarray, the Italian team found itself fielding more questions for its off field activities than for their performances but they soldiered on and under Marcelo Lippi won their fifth Wordl Cup.
In beating the Tartans today, the Azurri were coping with another crisis that brewed in the aftermath of Gabriele Sandri’s death. One which has many foreign stars like Kaka and Clarence Seedorf questioning whether the Serie would recover its standing in the world.
Whatever it maybe the Azurri put together an exciting display of attacking soccer with Luca Toni scoring early. Scotland equalized through a Barry Ferguson goal but just as Omer Golan’s last gasp goal dashed Russian hopes as a Christian Panucci header in the 91st minute brought Scotland’s Euro campaign to a crashing halt.