Thursday, September 7, 2006

A bit of revenge for Les Bleus

The French side downed Italy, 3-1, yesterday evening in Paris in their first meeting since the World Cup final nearly two months ago. They scored early and often with a score by Sidney Govou in the second minute of the game. He would later follow that with his second goal in the 55th minute making the score 3-1. Italy's lone goal was scored by Alberto Gilardino at the twenty minute mark, shortly after the second French goal by Thierry Henry.
France 3 - Italy 1
Game photos

The loss puts The Azzurri in second-last place in the Group B standings with one point. The tie with Lithuania last Saturday looms large in this situation.
Euro 2008 Standings

The absense of key offensive players like Francesco Totti, Luca Toni and Alex Del Piero has me scratching my head. Coach Roberto Donadoni keeps referring to their lack of fitness as a reason for their exclusion. Perhaps there has been too much partying and who can blame them but it would be a great embarassment if the club does not qualify for the tournament in two years.

The club will have a chance to regroup when they host another World Cup nemesis, Ukraine, on October 7 and travel to Georgia on October 10. Both teams are directly ahead of Italy with four points each in the standings. A victory in both games seems mandatory at this point. Until then Signore Donadoni will face the intense pressure and scrutiny of the media and the Italian fans.

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.......

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