UEFA Champions League
Previous
Aktobe Lento
Dinamo Tbilisi
3
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
FK Ventspils
Malmo FF
0
1
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Rabotnicki Kometal
2
1
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Steaua Bucuresti
Stromsgodset
2
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
NK Maribor
Zrinjski Mostar
2
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
St Patricks
Legia Warsaw
0
5
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 6
Game Details
FC Aarau
FC Sion Sitten
1
0
FT
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Thun
2
1
FT
Game Details
San Jose
Chicago
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Antonio Scorpions
Carolina RailHawks
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Bolívar
2
0
LIVE 45' +2'
Leg 1
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Instituto de Córdoba
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
Defensa y Justicia
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
Chapecoense AF
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Avaí
Palmeiras
0
0
LIVE 50'
Leg 1
Game Details
ABC
Novo Hamburgo
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Botafogo da Paraiba
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
CR Vasco da Gama
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Bahia
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Sport Huancayo
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
Postp
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
Postp
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Postp
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
Postp
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
Postp
Game Details
Albirex Niigata
FC Tokyo
0
1
FT
Game Details
Gamba Osaka
Shimizu S-Pulse
4
0
FT
Game Details
Kashima Antlers
Omiya Ardija
2
2
FT
Game Details
Sagan Tosu
Kawasaki Frontale
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Kashiwa Reysol
5
2
FT
Game Details
Tokushima Vortis
Urawa Red Diamonds
0
2
FT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Cerezo Osaka
0
0
FT
Game Details
Vegalta Sendai
Nagoya Grampus Eight
3
3
FT
Game Details
Yokohama F. Marinos
Vissel Kobe
1
1
FT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
Portland Thorns FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 1, 2006

Lippi says team spirit carried Azzurri through

HAMBURG, July 1 (Reuters) - Italy are in the World Cup semi-finals where they face Germany after scoring nine goals and conceding just one in five matches but it is team spirit rather than statistics that gives coach Marcello Lippi confidence.

Friday's 3-0 win over Ukraine extended the Azzurri's unbeaten run to 23 matches and they have not been beaten since a loss to Slovenia in a World Cup qualifier in October 2004.

Every outfield player in Lippi's squad has had a taste of the tournament and eight of them have a goal under their belts.

Now the Italians are one win away from keeping their curious record of reaching the World Cup final every 12 years since 1970.

It is not the raw data that impresses Lippi, however. The silver-haired tactician's confidence comes from the mood within his squad.

'I am extremely proud because this team has an incredible character and spirit, they have coped so well with a lot of injuries and changes to the team,' said Lippi.

'They are an incredible bunch of lads and everything is possible now. We need to try with all our hearts -- it has worked for us so far,' added the Italy coach.

Statistics alone would make the Italians, who beat Germany 4-1 in a friendly on March 1 in Florence, clear favourites for a place in the final, but what the results do not show is that the Azzurri have had the easiest of routes to the last four.

They have also struggled at times against relatively modest opposition.

Italy topped group E thanks to a 2-0 win over Ghana, a laboured 1-1 draw against a nine-man United States and a 2-0 victory over a Czech Republic side robbed by injury of their main strikers.

In the second round the Azzurri, down to 10 men and looking despondent, were facing the prospect of extra time against Australia before a fortuitous last minute penalty gave them a controversial victory.

That set up a quarter-final against the weakest team in the last eight and even the victory over Ukraine had an element of good fortune to it -- twice the woodwork saved the Italians.

Tuesday's semi-final against the hosts in Dortmund will be the first time in this tournament that Italy will have come up against opponents of an equal status to them.

'It will be difficult for us but I think it will also be difficult for Germany,' said Lippi, who rightly suggested that little should be read into the friendly win over Juergen Klinsmann's side four months ago.

'I said at the time -- we aren't a team who will score four against Germany at the World Cup and they aren't a team who will concede four against us,' he said.

Germany are a different side now, on a high after their 4-2 win over Argentina on penalties and they will also enjoy a partisan home support.

When it comes to playing the host nation, Italy's recent record is the only statistic that counts against them.

In 1998 they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by hosts and eventual winners France and four years ago they were knocked out in the second round by co-hosts South Korea.

'But they were a quarter-final and a second round match,' said Lippi, 'This will be a semi-final'.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.