Friday 23 February 2018

Buffon the hero for Italy

Gianluigi Buffon saved three kicks in a shootout as Italy beat Uruguay 3-2 on penalties to take third place in the Confederations Cup following a 2-2 draw.

Italy took the lead in the fourth minute when Alessandro Diamanti's venomous free-kick sailed over goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, hit the post, and then rebounded off Muslera's back to Davide Astori, who tapped it over the line.

Uruguay got a deserved equaliser after 58 minutes when Walter Gargano picked up the ball on the halfway line and laid it off to Edinson Cavani, whose perfect side-footed finish evaded the diving Buffon.

Italy looked to be struggling but they took the lead against the run of play in the 73rd minute with a beautifully struck Diamanti free-kick from 25 metres.

Cavani replied with another free-kick five minutes later to send the match to extra-time and penalties where Buffon saved from Diego Forlan, Martin Caceres and Walter Gargano.

Irish Independent

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