September 02, 2011: UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier, Group C:
Faroe Islands - Italy 0-1 (0-1) 0-1 Antonio Cassano '11
The Faroe Islands were put under immense pressure in the opening minutes and Italy had three excellent chances to take the lead in the first three minutes of the game.
The Faroese team and especially the defence was all over the place and an early goal looked imminent.
And the goal came after 10 minutes when Andrea Pirlo’s great ball over the Faroese defence played Antonio Cassano clear, and after taking the ball down with his chest, he rounded goalkeeper René Tórgarð with the help of a lucky bounce to put Italy ahead.
The Italian pressure eased after the goal and midway through the half the Faroes had three finishes on the Italian goal; a deflected dipping shot that went just over goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and later a header that in the end lacked power to trouble the goalkeeper. But Buffon was well beaten with Súni Olsen’s drive from 20 metres, but the ball smashed off upright. - So near a sensational equalizer.
At the other end, goalkeeper Tórgarð, playing his first competitive international, dealt safely with an Italian effort from outside the area, as the punched the ball away to safety.
Italy started well again in the second half, but the pressure lasted a lot shorter this time. Italy did produce a couple of opportunities, but Tórgarð denied the Italians with superb saves.
After some 70 minutes, the Faroes were again desperately unlucky not to equalize as Christian Lamhague Holst from close range turned a cross from Hjalgrím Elttør on the crossbar after Pól Jóhannus Justinussen's fine pass across the field. – Once again so close for the equalizer.
With 10 minutes to go, another fine attack from the Faroes produced a fine opportunity for Lamhauge Holst a bit to the right on the edge of the penalty area, but the shot went well off target, however.
Italy had a couple of decent chances also, but sliding blocks kept the ball out.
In the end, Italy will have been relieved to have escaped with the 3 points, as they were so lucky not to concede as the Faroe Islands rattled the woodwork twice.
Fact was, that Faroe Islands goalkeeper René Tórgarð was only beaten once, while his colleague in the Italian goal, Gianluigi Buffon, was beaten twice. - Buffon just had the luck of being rescued by the woodwork.
- A draw for the Faroes wouldn't have been undeserved, you could easily argue.