THE AZZURI TRIUMPH
The final of the world cup 2006 went all the way to a shoot out as more than 120 minutes tied the score at one goal each to Italy and France. The French drew first blood through a penalty scored by Zidane. It took a header from Matterazzi to equalize for the Azzuri.
For a greater part of the stipulated 90 minutes, the Italians enjoyed possession of the ball but could not add to the score. The French also could not score a second goal. In the extra time, the French tried everything but to no avail. Buffon made a fine stop preventing a powerful header from Zidane going into the net.
The final was the last international match for Zidane and it could not have ended in a more bizarre fashion. The captain of France was red carded for head butting an opponent in the extra time.
In the tiebreaker, neither Barthez nor Buffon could do anything heroic. David Trezeguet’s shot rattled the crossbar but the ball bounced outside the line. Earlier in the 6th minute, Zidane was lucky to find the ball bouncing inside the line after hitting the crossbar. Grosso scored the decisive penalty to make it five from five for the Italians.
The Italians have won the world cup for the first time since 1982. That triumph was also preceded by match fixing allegations as is the case now.