Italy lift FIFA World Cup

Italy won the World Cup in a penalty shootout, beating France 5-3 after a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Italy won the World Cup in a penalty shootout, beating France 5-3 after a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes. David Trezeguet hit the crossbar with France's second spot kick to give Italy its fourth World Cup title, and Fabio Grosso made the deciding kick. Andrea Pirlo, Marco Materazzi, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Del Piero also scored for Italy. Sylvain Wiltord, Eric Abidal and Willy Sagnol scored for France. It was the first penalty shootout in a final since the 1994 World Cup. Brazil beat Italy 3-2 in that match. Zinedine Zidane gave France the lead in the seventh minute with a penalty, and Materazzi equalized 12 minutes later. Zidane, playing his farewell game at 34, was sent off for savagely headbutting Materazzi in the chest in an off-the-ball incident 10 minutes from the penalty shootout. Despite playing with a man more, Italy could not make the difference. France's penalty was given when winger Florent Malouda went down after a challenge from Materazzi and Fabio Cannavaro. Instead of blasting the ball, Zidane chipped it in off the crossbar and just across the line, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon already down. Quick equaliser Italy quickly equalised when Materazzi rose well above France midfielder Patrick Vieira to head home a perfectly curled corner from Pirlo in the 19th minute. Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez's intervention was indecisive, caught between his line and the curling ball. Italy came close to taking the lead when the team exposed the French defence on corners again, but the header by Luca Toni slammed against the bar, with Barthez beaten again. And again in the 60th, France struggled to stop Italy's attack. Toni had Barthez beaten, but the goal was disallowed for offsides. The two goals and seesaw play were part of a spectacular first hour which had been predicted to be a dull, conservative match between two expert defences. Once fatigue hit the teams, it turned into a scrappy scramble for survival. Thierry Henry went down in the opening minute when he accidentally banged his head into the shoulder of Cannavaro. He looked dazed, walked off the field under his own power, and resumed play after a few minutes. In the fourth minute, Gianluca Zambrotta was given a yellow card for a late tackle on Vieira just outside the area. Yellow card Sagnol was given a yellow card in the 12th by referee Horacio Elizondo for entering a challenge on Grosso with his studs showing. It quickly turned into a free-flowing final, with Italy putting together the better passing combinations and in set plays. In the 35th, defender Lilian Thuram was forced into a last-ditch tackle on Toni, who had broken through on the right. After his spectacular start, Zidane showed little in the first half of his farewell game. Italy's defence quickly regrouped after the early goal and, led by captain Cannavaro, dominated most of the time. Henry was the only Frenchman to keep the pressure going. France entered the second half with renewed vigor. In the 50th, Henry turned free from three defenders and sent in a low cross, but Zambrotta was able to clear. Two minutes later, Henry was open in the penalty box but instead of shooting straight away, stopped the ball and let Italian defenders regroup. Malouda twice went through on the left but could not create immediate danger. In the 55th, Vieira went off holding his thigh and was replaced by Alou Diarra. Tactical changes After the disallowed header from Toni, Italy coach Marcello Lippi made two tactical changes in the 61st minute. He took off playmaker Francesco Totti and replaced him with De Rossi, who came back from a four-match suspension for elbowing an opponent in the first round. Forward Vincenzo Iaquinta took the place of midfielder Simone Perrotta. Just after the changes, Buffon made a save on a 10-meter shot from Henry in the 63rd. Zidane temporarily went off in the 80th holding his right arm after a challenge from Cannavaro and needed medical attention. But his career did not end with injury as he came back on to the cheers of the French in the stands one minute later. With all players visibly tiring, Lippi took off winger Mauro Cammoranesi in the 86th to bring on veteran Del Piero, who scored the second goal in the 2-0 semifinal victory over Germany. In the first half of extra time, France winger Franck Ribery forced a way through the Italian defence on his own in the 100th, but his shot from 12 meters went just wide. He was immediately replaced by Trezeguet. Trezeguet scored the winner in the 2000 European Championship final over Italy and immediately positioned himself as the most forward striker. Zidane red-carded In the 104th, Zidane's header off a cross from Sagnol was stopped by Buffon. In the last half of injury time, Henry surprisingly went off for veteran forward Wiltord. Almost immediately afterward, Zidane and Materazzi got into an argument and seemingly unprovoked, the star player went fully head forward into the defender. At first it was not spotted by the referee but after consultation with the fourth official, Elizondo whipped out the red card for Zidane. Italy went into the game with the same 4-4-1-1 formation used in a 2-0 semifinal win over Germany, with Totti in his usual playmaker role behind Toni. France coach Raymond Domenech kept the same lineup for the fourth straight match. Zidane, playing the final match of his career, led the team in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Henry was alone in attack, flanked by wingers Ribery and Malouda. Thuram made his 122nd international appearance alongside William Gallas in the center of France's defence. Thuram also ends his international career after the final, as does midfielder Claude Makelele. (AP)