Rossi equalizes for Italy in 1-1 draw with Germany

BY foxsports • February 10, 2011

Substitute Giuseppe Rossi equalized in a 1-1 draw to deny Germany a first win over Italy since 1995.

Italy had five penalty appeals waved away by Dutch referee Eric Braamhaar, but the hosts had more opportunities to avenge the 2006 World Cup semifinal defeat to Italy in the same Dortmund stadium.

Miroslav Klose scored for Germany in the 17th minute when goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon failed to stop the ball. A delightful back heel from Mesut Oezil released Thomas Mueller, and he crossed for his Bayern Munich teammate to score his first ever goal against Italy from close range.

Buffon stood up to deny Klose a second minutes later, after another great pass from Oezil.

''We can be happy with the result but we know we can do better,'' Klose said.

Rossi scored in the 81st, when he turned away from Per Mertesacker to knock it past Manuel Neuer at the second attempt.

''I dedicate it to my father who died last year,'' Rossi told Italian TV channel Raisport. ''A draw is good away from home. We have to continue like that.''

The 24-year-old added: ''We felt we could even win the game because we were playing well, the team was running and fighting for the second goal which didn't arrive unfortunately. But I repeat, it's a great draw against a great team on a difficult pitch.''

Germany coach Joachim Loew appeared content with a draw.

''It was an entertaining game, also from the Italians,'' Loew said. ''We couldn't sustain the tempo we had at the beginning over 90 minutes. In the second half we erred a bit in trying so hard to make it 2-0.''

Oezil was involved in nearly every German attack, and he instigated the first after three minutes when he slipped the ball through to Lukas Podolski. Leonardo Bonucci blocked the striker's shot out for a corner.

Sami Khedira should have done better when Oezil combined with his Real Madrid teammate to lay the ball back in the area, but the midfielder mis-hit his shot.

Podolski then tried his luck from distance, but the ball crept past the right post.

Antonio Cassano and former Sampdoria teammate Giampaolo Pazzini responded by linking up with some wonderful play on the edge of Neuer's penalty area, before Holger Badstuber cleared the ball from Cassano.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini surged forward and crossed for Daniele de Rossi but his spectacular volley was straight at Neuer.

Italy's first penalty appeal came in the 33rd, when Stefano Mauri tumbled over Per Mertesacker in the area.

Cassano was furious not to be awarded a penalty shortly afterward when he was knocked off the ball by Mertesacker, and there were more Italian protests when Mattia Cassani's shot was blocked by the sliding arm of Dennis Aogo.

De Rossi was next to look to the referee before the break, when the Roma midfielder fell in the area under the challenge of Badstuber.

Christian Maggio came on for the injured Mattia Cassani in the 53rd, and his perfectly timed tackle nicked the ball from the feet of Aogo as the left back was through on goal.

Neuer came to the rescue of his exposed defense when he denied substitute Marco Borriello with a flying save in the 66th. Another substitute, Alberto Aquilani, tried a shot from the resulting corner but the effort was blocked.

Chiellini was next to appeal for a penalty when he went down after colliding with substitute Jerome Boateng.

Rossi, who came on for Cassano at halftime, scored after some uncharacteristically poor defending from the hosts. Substitute Domenico Criscito capitalized by threading the ball past Mertesacker and Rossi was lucky with the rebound from Neuer's initial save.

Kevin Grosskreutz had to react quickly to prevent him from getting a second, and Buffon denied Khedira smartly at the other end as both sides pressed for a late winner.

A late Grosskreutz effort drifted to the right and wide.

It was the ninth draw between the sides in 30 games since 1923. Of those, Germany has only won seven.

''A pity that we didn't get the other goal,'' midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said. ''Of course our record isn't good against Italy. But I'm sure we'll beat them sometime.''



Germany: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm (Jerome Boateng 63), Per Mertesacker, Holger Badstuber (Mats Hummels 63), Dennis Aogo, Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller (Mario Goetze, 46), Mesut Oezil, Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose (Kevin Grosskreutz 74).

Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Mattia Cassani (Christian Maggio 53), Andrea Ranocchia, Giorgio Chiellini (Domenico Criscito 77), Leonardo Bonucci,

Thiago Motta (Alberto Aquilani 63), Daniele de Rossi, Riccardo Montolivio, Antonio Cassano (Giuseppe Rossi 46), Stefano Mauri (Sebastian Giovinco 74), Giampaolo Pazzini (Marco Borriello 46).

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