Italy 2-0 Scotland

Scotland's Euro 2008 qualification hopes suffered a blow as they lost to two Luca Toni goals as Italy won 2-0 in Bari.

Confidence had been high after Saturday's 2-1 win over Georgia saw the Scots remain at the top of Group B, along with France.

But a Toni double gave the world champions a much-needed victory after four months out of action and just two previous wins in the group.

Scotland will now have to turn their attention to their trip to the Faroe Islands in June in a bid to steer their campaign back on track.

Scotland had headed into the game hoping to continue their impressive start to their qualifying campaign.

Manager Alex McLeish opted for a 4-5-1 formation, with Kenny Miller handed the lone striker role.

That meant Kris Boyd and Craig Beattie both had to settle for a place on the bench, despite their goals against Georgia on Saturday.

Steven Pressley was also named as a substitute after missing the 2-1 win at Hampden through suspension, with McLeish keeping faith with Stephen McManus.

Scott Brown was given his first start after an impressive display against Georgia.

Gianluigi Buffon returned in goal for Italy after recovering from a stomach complaint.

The Scots won a free-kick in the opening minute but Paul Hartley was wasteful with the effort, which was comfortably cleared.

Italy then had a decent chance when Antonio Di Natale released Toni into the box but David Weir managed to block as the shot left his boot.

Marco Materazzi then threatened with a free-kick, which was blocked, before Toni headed just wide of the target.

Italy took the lead after just 12 minutes when Toni won a free-kick on the edge of the box from a Stephen McManus foul.

Massimo Oddo flighted the ball into the box and Toni left goalkeeper Craig Gordon with no chance with a header from 10 yards.

Scotland had the chance to force their way back into the game when they won their first corner and Hartley sent a dangerous ball into the box.

McManus connected and tried his luck with the shot but the ball fell to the feet of Miller, whose effort at the near post was cleared.

Buffon had not been tested at all but the Italy goalkeeper was called into action to block a 30-yard effort from Lee McCulloch.

Hartley then had the opportunity to put the home side under pressure with a free-kick but Buffon was up to the task and first to the ball before a Scotland player could connect.

At the other end, Gordon had to react quickly to prevent a point-blank effort from Di Natale hitting the back of the net.

Graham Alexander tried his luck with a speculative drive shortly after the restart but the effort deflected off team-mate Barry Ferguson and wide.

The Italians almost added to their lead when Mauro Camoranesi set up Di Natale for the the shot - and he was only denied by an excellent save from Gordon.

Gordon was then called into action again seconds later, producing another fine save, with Di Natale the danger man once again with a close-range shot.

Camoranesi then tried his luck from distance but his drive took a slight deflection and the Scotland goalkeeper was able to smother comfortably.

It was proving to be a busy night for Gordon, who then managed to hold a Toni effort after he had been set up for the shot by Di Natale.

Both teams made their first change with just over 20 minutes to go, Scotland swapping Gary Teale for Shaun Maloney, while Di Natale was replaced by Alessandro del Piero.

Scotland's hopes of a comeback were shattered when Toni grabbed his second goal of the night after 70 minutes.

Gennaro Gattuso drove the ball forward to Camoranesi, whose cross was met by the Italy striker and he did well to send a header past Gordon.



Oddo, Cannavaro, Materazzi, Zambrotta

Gattuso,De Rossi, Camoranesi, Perrotta (Pirlo 77),Di Natale (Del Piero 66)
Toni (Quagliarella 87).
Subs Not Used: Abbiati, Barzagli, Ambrosini, Tonetto.
Goals: Toni 12, 70.
Graham Alexander, Naysmith, Weir, McManus
Ferguson, Teale (Maloney 66), Hartley, Brown (Beattie 86)
McCulloch (Boyd 81), Miller.
Subs Not Used: McGregor, McNamara, Pressley, Dailly.
Ref: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium).

Att: 37,500


Back to Top