The Azzurri Reign Against Spain

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Italy

Yesterday evening saw 2006 World Champions Italy take on current World Champions Spain in an exhilarating encounter in Bari. PUMA Football stars Ginaluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini starting for an Azzurri team looking to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to Ireland back in June.

Italy dominated the opening encounters soaking up the Spanish possession and hitting them on the counter attack. After a number of early chances for Italy, they finally broke the deadlock when a Criscito pass split the Spanish defence for Montolivo to run onto and produce a sublime chip over the outrushing Spanish goalkeeper. Italy had a number of chances to extend their lead coming close through Cassano and De Rossi. However, in the 37th minute a Cazorla cross came into the Italian box and Llorente was adjudged to have been bought down by Chiellini. Xabi Alonso stepped up and slotted the ball straight down the middle to bring the game back to 1-1.

Spain made a raft of changes at half-time and managed to get their foot back into the tie, looking more dominant as the game went on. Gigi Buffon kept the Azzurri in the game with a host of saves from Villa, Silva and Llorente. Despite the dominance of the Spanish in the second half, the Azzurri still looked dangerous, and in the 84th minute the Azzurri faithful were sent into raptures as a deflected Aquilani shot wrong footed Victor Valdes to put Italy 2-1 up. The game ended to give Cesare Prandelli's men a fantastic victory against the world’s top ranked team.

Other highlights from the world of PUMA Football last night included Bafana Bafana without injured captain Steven Pienaar, who took on Burkina Faso and won 3-0 thanks to two goals from Mphela and a goal from Tshabalala and Ivory Coast winning a thrilling encounter against Israel 4-3. Special mention goes to Chile who drew against a strong French team 1-1 at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier. PUMA Football star Loïc Remy put the French ahead in the 20th minute only for Chile to fight back and grab a late equaliser in the 77th minute. Claudio Borghi’s men will come away from this game happy knowing there steely resolve helped stifle the French.

Did you catch any of these games yesterday? Which players stood out to you?

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