Italy 2 vs Georgia 0

September 10, 2008 | Filed Under: Euro Box 

De Rossi scored in the 17th minute at Friuli stadium, sending his shot into the upper corner of the net and out of the reach of Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Loria. The AS Roma midfielder scored again in the 88th on a low shot from inside the box.

“It’s great to win when you’re struggling,” Italy coach Marcello Lippi said. “In a month we’ll be back in better condition.”
Italy, which next plays at Bulgaria on Oct. 11, has won its last 11 home World Cup qualifiers and has 36 victories and four draws at home.
Italy controlled the match from start to finish, but was unable to convert the chances it created in front of the Georgian net until De Rossi scored his second goal with two minutes left. The Georgian defense, anchored by AC Milan’s Kakha Kaladze, stymied Italy’s preferred approach, which was long crosses that sought striker Luca Toni.

Kaladze wore a black armband to remember the victims in his country’s recent war with Russia.
Antonio Di Natale, playing in front of his home fans, failed to find the back of the net after scoring Italy’s two goals in the first World Cup qualifying match against Cyprus. His best chance before being substituted early in the second half came in the 15th when his shot deflected off a Georgia defender and rolled just wide of the net.

Georgia came close to scoring in the 25th when Levan Mchedlidze fed Levan Kenia a perfect low cross that beat the Italian defense, but Kenia bumbled the kick.

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