Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Buffon Is Spot on in Penalty Drama

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Buffon Is Spot on in Penalty Drama

Article excerpt

Italy 2 Uruguay 2 (after extra time, Italy won 3-2 on pens) GIANLUIGI Buffon saved three penalties as tenman Italy beat Uruguay on penalties last night to claim third place at the Confederations Cup.

Manchester City target Edinson Cavani had twice levelled for the South Americans as the tie ended 2-2 after extra time.

It was a measure of redemption for Italy after a loss to Spain, also on penalties, in the semi-finals.

Claudio Prandelli's side had to play the final ten minutes of the extra period a man short after Riccardo Montolivo was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

The latest shoot-out capped an entertaining match at the Arena Fonte Nova, where Italy's Alessandro Diamanti scored one goal and set up another - for defender Davide Astori.

He opened the scoring in the 24th minute after former West Ham loan signing Diamanti's free-kick rattled the post and Cavani equalised for Uruguay in the 58th with an angled shot.

Diamanti restored Italy's lead in the 73rd with another free-kick which went in directly, However, not to be outdone, Cavani drew Uruguay level again five minutes later with an equally splendid free-kick of his own.

In the penalty shoot-out, 35-year-old Buffon set the tone by stopping the first attempt from former Manchester United front man Diego Forlan, then also saved from Martin Caceres before smothering Walter Gargano's effort to clinch victory.

Alberto Aquilani, Stephan El Shaarawy and Emanuele Giaccherini converted for Italy, while Mattia De Sciglio's shot was blocked by Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

Italy were without usual starters Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo and a handful of others and ended with 10 men after Montolivo picked up his second yellow card in the 110th minute for a foul on Liverpool's Luis Suarez.

Uruguay were at full strength, featuring virtually the same lineup from their 2-1 semi-final defeat by Brazil. For the first 90 minutes it was an even affair featuring numerous opportunities for both sides. …

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