Ten-man Italy get Ventura-era off to winning start

Italy, reduced to 10-men, got their 2018 World Cup qualifying off to an impressive start by defeating Israel 3-1 in-front of a sold-out Sammy Offer stadium in Haifa on Monday.

Ten-man Italy get Ventura-era off to winning start
Italy triumphed despite bein down to 10-men. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP

The victory marked new Italian manager Giampiero Ventura's first win as Azzurri boss.
He said: “I won't say our performance was perfect, as we conceded that goal similar to the one we let in against France (in last week's friendly).”
The 68-year-old manager added: “We worked as a team, suffered as a team and won as a team.”
Italy stunned the home crowd when Shandong Luneng forward Graziano Pelle tapped in a goal past helpless Israeli keeper Dudu Goresh in the 14th minute.
In the 31st minute, Italy won a controversial penalty when Israeli defenderBen Bitton knocked Giacomo Bonaventura to the ground.
Antonio Candreva converted the penalty.
After Italy dominated possession in the first 35 minutes, Israeli winger Tal Ben Haim scored a beautiful chip to give Israel a fighting chance.
Israel started the second half full of confidence and threatened Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon several times.
Israel were given renewed hope when Italy were reduced to 10 men in the 55th minute, veteran defender Girgio Chiellini picking up his second yellow card of the evening.
It was the Italian defender's first red card in 90 appearances for the Azzurri.
The sending off revitalised the Israeli crowd and brought hope that they could cause a huge upset.
Israel continued to attack before an Italian fast break in the 83rd minutesealed the deal when Ciro Immobile scored to give the visitors a decisive lead.
Immobile, 26, looked ahead to next month's clash with Spain, said: “We're in a complicated group and unfortunately only the top team goes through. These trips can be complicated, but we got there and have the full three points.
“The fans need to keep cheering us on the way they did during the Euros and we'll give our all to reach the World Cup. It's an honour to play with the Italy jersey.”
Despite the disappointing result, Israel captain Eran Zahavi said he was proud of the performance.
“I think maybe we deserved a little more in this game .”We had a brave National Team that took risks and didn't give up.”
Former Southampton forward Pelle, who also scored against France last Thursday, congratulated his teammates on a fantastic result despite being down to 10-men.
“As usual, Italy are always ready when the game actually counts for something. We had an extra few days to work with the coach and his wonderful staff.
“We knew that we had to remain fully concentrated, as the fans fired up the hosts and it is a tough arena to play in, but we proved we fight to the end even a man down.”
In the next batch of qualifiers in October Italy tackle Spain in Turin while Israel travel to Skopje to face Macedonia.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident

Thirteen people, including German tourists, have been killed after a cable car disconnected and fell near the summit of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident
The local emergency services published this photograph of the wreckage. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was announced by Italy’s national fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, at 13.50 on Sunday, with the agency saying over Twitter that a helicopter from the nearby town of Varese was on the scene. 

Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps confirmed that there were 13 victims and two seriously injured people.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported that German tourists were among the 13 victims.

According to their report, there were 15 passengers inside the car — which can hold 35 people — at the time a cable snapped, sending it tumbling into the forest below. Two seriously injured children, aged nine and five, were airlifted to hospital in Turin. 

The cable car takes tourists and locals from Stresa, a resort town on Lake Maggiore up to a panoramic peak on the Mottarone mountain, reaching some 1,500m above sea level. 

According to the newspaper, the car had been on its way from the lake to the mountain when the accident happened, with rescue operations complicated by the remote forest location where the car landed. 

The cable car had reopened on April 24th after the end of the second lockdown, and had undergone extensive renovations and refurbishments in 2016, which involved the cable undergoing magnetic particle inspection (MPI) to search for any defects. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Twitter that he expressed his “condolences to the families of the victims, with special thoughts for the seriously injured children and their families”.

Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini told Italy’s Tg1 a commission of inquiry would be established, according to Corriere della Sera: “Our thoughts go out to those involved. The Ministry has initiated procedures to set up a commission and initiate checks on the controls carried out on the infrastructure.”

“Tomorrow morning I will be in Stresa on Lake Maggiore to meet the prefect and other authorities to decide what to do,” he said.