Hello Everyone and welcome to the final International Series post as we take Italy through World Cup 98. In the last update we qualified as group winners beating Georgia and drawing with England in our final two games. Our friendly results showed we are behind the top teams such as France and Brazil. We have to come together in this tournament.
So without further a do, for one last time this summer let’s head to France for the World Cup.
Brazil get off to the perfect start with the win over Mexico. They are helped by Scotland & Eire playing out a bore draw.
Great start for the hosts and Romania as they take control of group B.
Chile and Germany take control of group C with good wins. Denmark get a big win against Portugal.
More good news for Denmark as Japan and Cameroon draw. Group E is as you were as both games are drawn. A trio of draws on the day.
It’s our turn now as we take on Sweden in the our first game. Sweden are a tough opposition. A win would be huge here.
What an incredible start to the tournament for us here. Vieri gets us off to a great start with 2 goals in 11 minutes. Scarchilli then cuts in from the left and fires one low in to the bottom corner. In the second half Del Piero Swings a corner in and finds Conte completely unmarked who heads home our 4th. With 10 minutes to go Vieri completes an impressive hat trick when he turns in Signori’s delightful through ball.
In the days other games Russia and Nigeria play out a draw and Australia pick up a big win in the other game in our group.
Saudi Arabia take control of group F with their win and England get a huge win against Holland.
Scotland put up a brave fight against Brazil but that win for them puts them through. 2nd place is still up for grabs thanks to Mexico and Eire drawing.
France and Romania drawing opens the door for Jamaica to have a shot at qualifying thanks to their win over South Africa.
Germany storm through to the next round. USA & Chile will battle for 2nd place.
Denmark go through with their win. Portugal sit 2nd on 3 points but Japan and Cameroon are only 2 points behind so still all to play for.
We have our second game now as we play Colombia. I don’t change anything from the first game.
Another fantastic performance and it sees us through to the next round. Di Livio gets us off to a flyer when he finds himself in the right place at the right time twice to hit home Vieri’s rebounded shots. In the second half Di Livio plays a ball through which Del Piero prods home. Vieri then adds to his tally by converting a penalty after Signori is taken out in the box. Colombia get a late consolation goal but we run out easy winners.
In the days other games Argentina and Spain record big wins to send them both 3 points clear on 4 points a piece.
Nigeria and Russia win sees them take the top 2 spots with Saudi Arabia just behind on 3 points. Sweden’s win sees them go level on points with Australia for second place.
A big win for England sees them go through. Norway beat Holland which means Holland are out and Norway progress.
Wins for Brazil and Mexico see those 2 go through. France top the group and their win against Jamaica means Romania losing still sees them go through.
Germany and Chile go through with no problems. Denmark top their group and Portugal go through with a huge win.
Argentina and Spain cruise through. Russia beating Saudi Arabi means they are joined by Nigeria who’s point is enough for 2nd place.
Our final group game is against Australia. A point will see us top the group.
We get all 3 which is fantastic. Vieri gives us the lead when he slides in Signori’s corner after 24 minutes. Robbie Slater then equalises 10 minutes later when Okon’s shot rattles the bar and Slater is there to head home the rebound. 2 minutes later Del Piero goes through and his shot is blocked by Bosnich who then takes Del Piero out in the box when scrambling for the loose ball. Vieri steps up and converts the penalty to give us the win. Shout out for Maldini who was an absolute beast at the back for us.
England’s win against Norway means they top the group and Norway finish 2nd. Our win sees us top the group. Australia go through in 2nd place by 1 goal!
Brazil cruise past Australia to get into the Quarter Final. France need penalties to see off Norway.
Two shoot outs needed today. Denmark cause a shock and knock out Spain. Germany do what Germany do and win on Penalties.
Portugal win a tight game against Argentina and Russia see off Chile.
It’s our 2nd round match now and we take on Mexico.
What a performance from Campos here. He is more than a match for all of our strikers efforts which are plentiful as Signori is on fire with his range of passing. We get our goal from a corner which Pessotto heads against the bar, then Campos parries a rebound and finally Conte smashes past the stranded Campos. We go through to the Quarter Finals.
In the days other game England squeeze past Romania in one of the games of the tournement.
Here is the Quarter Final Draw and we get England. We drew with them in Rome in the Qualifying Group. Hopefully we can do better this time.
Brazil knock out the hosts France out in a clash of the titans. Denmark continue there amazing run by knocking out Germany.
So it’s our turn now as we take on England.
We sneak a win here to go through to the Semi Finals. England start really strong and have 3 or 4 good chances in the first 25 minutes. We have a couple of chances ourselves but they are only half chances. In the second half we have our moment of magic when Del Piero plays a ball through which splits the England defence wide open and Vieri races through and nutmegs Seaman to give us the win.
Portugal take the win in the final Quarter Final.
The Semi Final draw sees us avoid Brazil but it’s a tricky tie against a good Portugal team who are flying ever since they beat Japan 8-2. Brazil vs Denmark will be fascinating.
Of course it’s Ronaldo who sees Brazil go through to the World Cup Final.
We have some bad news before our game. We lose Maldini and Scarchilli to suspension but the worst news is losing Christian Vieri for 2 weeks. He’s out of the World Cup. He’s been our top scorer all the way through so it’s a huge blow.
Here is the Semi Final.
WE ARE INTO THE WORLD CUP FINAL!! It’s a great performance from the lads here. Di Livio gives us a well deserved lead when he follows in Del Piero’s saved shot. Portugal then go right up the other end and equalise when Paulinho Santos smashes home a shot into the corner. In the second half we get on top again and Del Piero is the architect again as he slips in Inzaghi who slots it home into the bottom corner. It’s back and forth for the next 20 minutes until Di Livio fires a tired cross in and from nowhere Pessotto slides in full stretch to poke home a 3rd and that wraps up the win. Brilliant!!
Denmark finish thrid beating Portugal as both teams go gung ho in their final match of the tournement.
Here it is then, the World Cup Final. A reapet of the USA 94 final but will it be the same outcome?
It most certainly is not the same outcome. WE WIN THE WORLD CUP!! What a performance from us here. We completely control the first half and get rewarded when Del Piero breaks free and fires the ball into the top corner. In the second half Brazil start to grow into the game but Maldini and Peruzzi are determined and stop all attacks. In the 78th minute Del Piero is boxed in going nowhere but he manages to chip the ball over the top and Scarchilli moves in from the wing and lashes home a shot which flies in!
Its been a fantastic run with all of these International Series runs we’ve had. I’m delighted to have won the World Cup in the final of this series as it rounds things off nicely. I hope you have enjoyed this Series and the England and Northern Ireland Series as well. Hopefully Dave will have me back soon.