Sat. 22 April 1989
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi,
Ref.: George Courtney (ENG)
Italy would continue their build-up to next year’s World Cup with their fourth match of 1989. This time they had made Verona the venue, and after the rather disappointing 1-0 defeat in Romania last time around, more was expected from Azeglio Vicini’s troops. They were up against a lesser known quantity this time, at least in Europe, in Uruguay, who were making their first appearance of 1989. The calendar year would contain both participation in Copa América as well as the World Cup qualification, with the latter succeeding the former six weeks after the scheduled final match of the South American championships. For the World Cup qualification, Uruguay were grouped with Peru and Bolivia.
Italy team news
Not one to make a lot of changes so far since the early exit at the 1988 European Championships, Italy boss Vicini this time around left out four of his starters from Bucharest. In defence, Ciro Ferrara was replaced at left-back by a more natural player for this position in Juventus’ Luigi De Agostini, whereas in midfield, the manager had left out both Roberto Donadoni and Fernando De Napoli. In their place came Roberto Baggio and Giancarlo Marocchi, whilst Aldo Serena came in for his fourth start in five internationals alongside Gianluca Vialli up front. Rather than playing a traditional 4-4-2 with wide midfielders, Vicini this time around chose a diamond formation. Giannini would be the central midfielder, with Marocchi to his right and Berti to his left, whereas Baggio would be operating ahead of them, and just behind the two forwards. As per usual, Vialli would be drifting out wide, often in a right-sided forward position, and the more stationary Serena would be the target man. A total of five Italian players had now started all of their seven friendlies, this one included, since the European Championships: Bergomi, Baresi, Ferri, Vialli and Giannini. Italy had a possible debutant among their substitutes in Napoli striker Andrea Carnevale.
Uruguay team news
The visitors had not faced European opposition since their elimination from the 1986 World Cup, when they had met Scotland in their final group stage match in Mexico (0-0). They had won four out of seven matches in 1988, and with Copa América a mere two months away, manager Tabárez would have demanded plenty from his players. There were two players only in their starting line-up who had also participated in their ill-reputed ’86 campaign: forwards Francescoli, the elegant captain, and veteran Alzamendi, whereas another striker, Aguilera, was named on the bench. The latter had been part of the squad in Mexico, but never made it onto the pitch during either of Uruguay’s four matches. Their manager had set them up in a formation more akin to 4-3-3 than to 4-5-1, with Bengoechea as their most forward midfielder, operating just off Francescoli in the skipper’s defensive forward role. Further ahead were the two wide forwards Sosa (left) and Alzamendi (right). Perdomo would sit in the deeper of the three midfield roles, with Correa doing a lot of running just ahead of him in the centre. It was no surprise that the Uruguayan line-up contained a host of Copa Libertadores winners: Peñarol had triumphed in the continental club champions’ tournament in ’87, Nacional the following year. Only Correa of the seven players representing these two clubs had not been in the winning team. Six of the Uruguay starters had been in the opening eleven for the 1987 Copa América final, where they had won 1-0 against Chile in Buenos Aires.
Man in the middle
Referee was well-reputed Englishman George Courtney, 47 years of age. He had refereed during both the 1984 European Championships in France and the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, but he had been overlooked for the 1988 tournament in West Germany. This was his 19th international altogether, and little would he know that this fixture was indeed a dress rehearsal for both teams as well as himself before next year’s World Cup.
Italy and Uruguay, with five World Cups between them, had only met four times previously. Today’s visitors had triumphed twice, whilst Italy only had a 1-0 win in a Milano friendly in 1980 to show for. Hugo De León was the only remaining player from that last meeting. Also worth noting was that this was the second ever international at Hellas Verona’s Marc’Antonio Bentegodi stadium. The only previous match taking place here had been a 1-1 friendly with Czechoslovakia in April 1984.
|1 Walter Zenga||sub h-t||28||Internazionale|
|2 Giuseppe Bergomi (c)||25||Internazionale|
|3 Luigi De Agostini||28||Juventus|
|4 Franco Baresi||28||AC Milan|
|5 Riccardo Ferri||25||Internazionale|
|6 Nicola Berti||22||Internazionale|
|7 Roberto Baggio||22||Fiorentina|
|8 Giancarlo Marocchi||23||Juventus|
|9 Gianluca Vialli||sub 41′||24||Sampdoria|
|10 Giuseppe Giannini||24||Roma|
|11 Aldo Serena||28||Internazionale|
|12 Stefano Tacconi||on h-t||31||Juventus|
|13 Ciro Ferrara||22||Napoli|
|14 Paolo Maldini||20||AC Milan|
|15 Luca Fusi||25||Napoli|
|16 Roberto Mancini||24||Sampdoria|
|17 Stefano Borgonovo||25||Fiorentina|
|18 Andrea Carnevale||on 41′||28||Napoli|
|19 Roberto Donadoni||25||AC Milan|
|1 Jorge Seré||27||Nacional|
|2 Daniel Reverez||29||Nacional|
|3 Hugo De León||31||Nacional|
|4 José Herrera||23||Peñarol|
|5 José Perdomo||24||Peñarol|
|6 Alfonso Dominguez||23||Peñarol|
|7 Antonio Alzamendi||33||Logroñés|
|8 Gabriel Correa||sub 73′||21||Peñarol|
|9 Enzo Francescoli (c)||27||Racing Paris|
|10 Pablo Bengoechea||sub 78′||23||Sevilla|
|11 Ruben Sosa||22||Lazio|
|12 Óscar Ferro||22||Peñarol|
|13 Luis Romero||20||Sud América|
|14 Santiago Ostolaza||on 73′||26||Nacional|
|15 William Castro||26||Nacional|
|16 Carlos Aguilera||on 78′||24||Peñarol|
|17 Sergio Martínez||20||Defensor|
For this fixture, Italy boss Vicini had employed a midfield diamond formation: He was without wide midfielders. For width, the full-backs would have to contribute in forward direction. This applied to a greater extent for De Agostini down the left than for Bergomi along the right hand side. The reason for this was Vialli’s tendency to drift out towards the right hand side. Giannini, as opposed to his more forward starting role in Romania, was sitting as a regista at the deep end of the midfield, whilst Marocchi and, in particular, Berti were doing the running. Ahead of the three was Baggio, whose role was rather liberated. He would even at times come deep and participate in the build-ups of attack. Serena, an aerially stronger forward than Borgonovo who had played in Romania, was more or less acting as the target man. Even he was not foreign to moving about, though his mobility far from matched that of Vialli. Italy would often look for Serena’s head around the borders of the penalty area.
Vialli would be replaced by Carnevale before the half-time break, and the substitute, albeit a slightly different kind of forward to Vialli, took over the Sampdoria man’s role.
The visitors were with a fairly square back four, where Revelez stood as the right-sided centre half, De León as the left-sided. Both full-backs would cross the halfway line. Perdomo sat at the back of their three man strong midfield, with Correa just ahead of him, and with Bengoechea in an even more advanced role. There did not appear to be a great deal of difference in Bengoechea’s and Francescoli’s roles, though the latter was the deep lying forward. Alzamendi (right) and Sosa (left) were the two most forward players among the Uruguayans, though they were also not without defensive responsibility when Italy were in possession of the ball.
Uruguay used two subs: Ostolaza was a straight swap for Correa. Aguilera came on for Bengoechea, and he slotted into Francescoli’s forward role, with the captain dropping back into Bengoechea’s advanced midfield position.
Prior to kick-off, there is a minute’s silence for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster a week earlier. It is the home side to kick-off through forwards Serena and Vialli.
Uruguay hold little fear
Just how would the Italian midfield formation pan out? There was no typically wide player among the four, although in a stretch of the imagination one could see Baggio and Berti possibly occupy a right and left sided slot respectively; Berti had held such a position in Romania in their previous outing. It would turn out that Vicini had instead opted for a diamond shape among the four, with Giannini sitting at the rear end. Just ahead of him he had Berti to his left and Marocchi to his right, and the youthful exuberance of Baggio was at the helm. The quartet were not strictly locked to these positions, as one would infrequently see Berti and Marocchi run into each other’s territory, but it was clear to all that this shape had been Vicini’s idea. It would take some time to get it going, as the visitors went about their plight with optimism. Uruguay had players of their own well capable of holding on to the ball, and in the early exchanges they were not interested in conceding possession to the home side. Confidently, Uruguay would stroke the ball among themselves, and their players looked composed; unmoved. Their formation will have been a new test to the Italians, with wide men Alzamendi and Sosa, both equipped with a fine dose of speed suitable for counters, being their most forward players, and with skipper Francescoli lying in the central role between them, though clearly deeper. Today, Francescoli would have been labelled a ‘false nine’, and he had the inventive Bengoechea just behind him. These four would, from time to time with the aid of either full-back, be the visitors’ main challenge to the home side’s defensive, and they were able to mix it up: At times passing it short, at times opting for quick breaks where in particular Alzamendi looked like a threat as his aim was to get in behind De Agostini. He almost succeeded as early as the fifth minute, although he had seemed to use his arm actively when getting in behind the Italian left-back. Ferri had to come to De Agostini’s rescue on this occasion, and Zenga had not been threatened. The visitors would, however, have the first attempt at goal, when Sosa struck a low shot from just outside the edge of the 18 yard area which nearly deceived the ‘keeper. Zenga had to make a slightly awkward save as he had initially moved in the opposite direction.
The home side’s first opportunity
Italy are without much width, something which would demand attacking participation from their full-backs. This seemed to be something which brought the best out of De Agostini, who was a willing customer along the left hand side. Bergomi, though, did not seem as comfortable in an attacking capacity, and his contributions inside the Uruguayan half were also not as much in demand, as Vialli would often appear in right wing territory. With Serena keeping himself in the middle, from time to time an attempted aerial target for his team mates, it would be the Sampdoria man to come wide, as was often the case with him, in order to try and stretch the visitors’ centre halfs. De León, who was the left-sided central defender, would not be drawn out of position, though, and he cleverly let left-back Dominguez deal with Vialli whenever the forward opted to go wide. There did seem to be a slip in communication between De León and Revelez, though, as the latter lingered behind the rest of his defence when De León had tried to play Vialli offside. Ferri, of all people, had spotted Vialli making the run in behind the bearded central defender, and it would take a low save from Seré coming out of his goal to dent Vialli giving Italy the lead. Only moments later, Correa had made a mess of clearing a Bergomi cross from the right, and Baggio had had an opportunity to finish on the near post. Again, the ‘keeper had been alert to the danger, and managed to concede a corner.
Even if Italy were enjoying larger spells of possession with the progress of the half, they would struggle to breach the disciplined Uruguayan defence. Also, they would struggle to involve Baggio a lot, as his movements were well tracked by the tireless work of midfielders Perdomo and, not least, Correa. Perdomo’s role was clearly as the shield in front of his defenders, and despite never showing a lot of acceleration or pace, he rarely had to cover a lot of area in order to succeed in his work. Italy were too pedestrian, and only when they involved De Agostini along the left hand side did they seem to cause Uruguay trouble. That said, Herrera, the visitors’ right-back, was doing a solid job along his side, but he was hardly assisted to a necessary level by Alzamendi when De Agostini broke forward. And with both Berti and Giannini, as well as Baggio, having a preference for coming out into this territory, Herrera would on occasions be surrounded by a large number of enemies. De Agostini did manage to get a couple of crosses in, but both Revelez and De León stood firm in battle with the usually aerial strong Serena. And when the Juventus full-back had played in Vialli to side foot home just short of the half hour mark, he had been ajudged offside by the linesman on the far side. Correctly so.
Italy do seem the stronger the closer to half time the match gets, yet they are unable to make the most of their possession. There had been a short break in play just after the disallowed goal as Revelez was receiving some attention due to a cut eyebrow. Not that the Uruguayan defence had been severely under the cosh, but they would still accept the little breather. Giannini was seeing a lot of the ball; the Roma prince knew how to direct operations from his regista role. However, he did not put a sufficient amount of tempo behind his actions, and so Italy were relatively easy to defend against. Serena had been seen with little touches of the ball in various areas in the opening quarter, but he would later become fairly stationary, and so was picked up by the visitors’ central defenders. Hoisting high balls for him to flick on was hardly the best recipe. Not that it was a prefered Italian way of playing anyway. Marocchi tried to play Vialli in behind the defence, but the forward was deemed offside. Berti could have made more use of one of his strengths: runs through the deep. Again, Uruguay’s midfield were monitoring the movements of the Italians well. The game was becoming a stalemate. Down the other end, Bengoechea and Sosa would have attempts from distance well over Zenga’s goal.
Italy make an early substitution Five minutes before half time, Vialli comes off and is replaced by Carnevale. He had been seen receiving some treatment to his right thigh, and was possibly taken off as a precaution, not to aggrevate anything if there was a hint of a strain. Carnevale could at times be described as unorthodox. This was his international debut, and he would slot straight into the role left vacant by Vialli as the more flexible forward. Italy did not change anything in their game plan yet. Half time was looming, and Ferri had just had his second wayward effort from distance. He could strike a ball, could the fearsome central defender, but the amount of times he actually hit the target could probably be counted on one hand. At least in national team colours. The same Internazionale defender had also had a couple of sloppy passes inside his own half. Perhaps was he not best motivated. There are boos ringing around the stadium when Mr Courtney signals the end to the first half. 0-0.
As the teams reappear, Italy have made a change for the goalkeeper’s position. They have withdrawn number one choice Zenga and replaced him with Tacconi from Juventus. The 31 year old ‘keeper came on for his fourth international. Uruguay kicked off the second half through Francescoli and Sosa.
At the start of the second period, there is little in terms of action suggesting that we’re in for a barnstorming half. Both teams are meticulous in their approach; they both employ a number of players in their build-ups. However, one does feel that the visitors have the greater ability when it comes to quicker breaks. Counters is possibly a weapon which Uruguay could have utilized to greater effect, but they too seem to have been lulled into the pedestrian pattern of the game. A lot of uneventful midfield passages of play see a few challenges from either set of players, but tackles are rarely feisty; never nasty. The only impression of temperature comes when Francescoli gets a free-kick a few yards inside the Italian half after some niggling from behind by Ferri. The central defender proceeds to grab hold of Francescoli’s hair, right under the watchful eye of the English referee. Somehow, Ferri escapes a talking to, and Francescoli can retreat with his mane still intact. Ferri was no stranger to this kind of tactics, which could be described as childish rather than intimidating. The Internazionale man had already been involved in a tangle with Sosa just to the right of his own penalty area, conceding a free-kick in the process, and when Bengoechea, quite instrumental in what the visitors tried to muster inside the hosts’ half, struck the ensuing kick low and hard into the area, it was again Ferri who was in the thick of the action as he slid the ball out for a left wing corner, just marginally clearing his own post. Add to that a couple of poor long range shots and some sloppy passing during the first half, and it could be said that Ferri was possibly not having his best game ever. Ten minutes into the second half it is Tacconi who is brought into action as he makes an excellent low save by diving tigerishly to his right to beat the ball away for another Uruguay flag kick after Alzamendi had been given time and space to shoot just 18 yards out. The forward would have been disappointed to see the ball escape going in. Dominguez, with a fine display at left-back, had played the veteran forward in after some sloppy play by Baggio.
Italy’s lack of counter-attacking ability came to show only moments after Baggio had had his slip in concentration and let in Dominguez to feed Alzamendi. Giannini had sent the little Fiorentina man down along the right hand side, and as he had Carnevale ahead of him, he brought the substitute into play and went to position himself inside the area. Stunningly, there was no other Italian player anywhere near the penalty area, and Italy were quickly outnumbered by the Uruguayan defence, even if Carnevale had managed to cross the ball into the area. The opportunity for a quick break had looked a good one, but Italy were unwilling or, worringly, unable to seize on it. For such a high profile team, they really were bleak in this aspect of the game, were the Italians. And from this their game clearly suffered. A lot of possession would come to waste if they were not able to break forward at pace when the chance arose. This fact sure made life relatively comfortable for the visitors’ defence, where both central defenders were right-footed, something which at times can hint towards a lack of balance. However, Revelez and De León had plenty of experience from playing together at club level, and whatever shortcomings they had, they had few problems in covering these up against an unadventurous home side.
There had been a tactical change about the Italian midfield after the break, with Berti and Marocchi switching sides. The former was now operating to the right of Giannini, with Marocchi to the Roma man’s left in central midfield. Perhaps was Vicini trying to encourage more interplay, no pun intended, between Berti and Bergomi, so far limited in his ventures forward? As had been seen during the first 40 minutes with Vialli still on the pitch, the striker had prefered to wander out towards the right hand side, so with Carnevale having replaced him, Vicini was probably seeking methods of activating their right flank again. Carnevale seemed to wander too, but rarely towards this side of the pitch. Opposite, Italy had looked threatening when De Agostini had been involved during the first half. The Juventus full-back had not made any such strides yet in the second half, and after an hour of the game gone, Herrera was keeping his defensive side safe. The Peñarol full-back, whilst also competent on the ball, was showing both positional awareness and a willingness to contribute in going forward. So far, he had been one of the better players on the pitch. In fact, both of Uruguay’s full-backs were having good games.
The game’s in need of some inspiration, and it will be provided just short of the halfway point in the second half. Giannini had taken on a ball from an enterprising Ferri run into Uruguayan territory, and as he tried to position himself for a shot from just outside the 18 yard marker, he was hauled down by De León who showed a bit of carelessness. Whenever Gli Azzurri would have an opportunity to direct a shot at target from this kind of range, you could count on the Fiorentina virtouso to step up. There can be little doubt that Uruguay goalkeeper Seré would have known about Baggio’s ability to strike a free-kick, but nevertheless he was left without a chance once the ball had left the number 7’s right boot. Baggio glued the ball into the left hand top corner of Seré’s goal; it was a gem of a goal, his first in the national team jersey. Italy, who so far in the second half had been unimaginative at best, were ahead.
The visitors search for a way back
Uruguay need to find a way back into the game, and they too have been short of ideas since the half-time break, with only Alzamendi’s shot that was saved by Tacconi to show for their efforts. Tabárez would make his first change of the evening when replacing the tiring Correa with the somewhat taller Ostolaza in midfield. Correa had not had a bad game, but his play had been based on a lot of running rather than the creativity that they were looking for at this stage. Perhaps could Ostolaza aid in this department, as Bengoechea and Francescoli, so far possibly Uruguay’s main sources of ideas, had gone off the boil. Francescoli saw a lot of the ball, but the visiting captain had been unable to make much of it. He had had a shooting opportunity earlier in the half when Uruguay had been given a free-kick 22-23 yards out, but his effort had been high and wide. The two wide forwards, Alzamendi and Sosa, had toiled, but mainly been ineffectual in open play. From where would the visitors find the key to unlock the Italian defence?
Uruguay’s second substitution
The referee awards Uruguay a free-kick inside the Italian penalty area, a rarity, when Ferri puts his boot high into the face of substitute Ostolaza following a Herrera throw along the right hand side. The four man defensive wall would serve its duty as it blocked down Sosa’s effort. Obviously, the free-kick had been awarded as an indirect one, so the Italy based forward had got the ball rolled to him by Bengoechea. Shortly after, the number 10 would be taken off and replaced by Aguilera, a forward, so Francescoli would drop back into Bengoechea’s midfield role, with the substitute taking up the centre forward position, albeit only a couple of minutes into his cameo. On this substitution, the official on the touchline displaying the player numbers to the audience had even managed to get the ciphers right. When Ostolaza had come on for Correa, he had erringly showed “11”, as to indicate that Sosa had been the player replaced.
Aguilera had not been on the pitch long when he brought the visitors back to level terms. Uruguay had won a throw-in deep along the right hand side, and Herrera had controlled Alzamendi’s quick throw and played a low ball into the penalty area for Ostolaza. With a clever back heel, and out of Marocchi’s reach, the nearest Italian, he would find his fellow substitute between Bergomi and Ferri, and Aguilera rolled the ball into the net behind Tacconi, who had shifted his weight onto the wrong leg, thus unable to prevent the ball from entering the back of the net. The home side had not shown their customary awareness in defence, as they had initially been sloppy when De Agostini gave away the throw, and then when there was no marking of neither Ostolaza nor Aguilera. However, Italy had been so predictable when going forward that it was perhaps just that there had been brought a balance to the scoresheet.
The home side show late desire
Italy at last tried to have some urgency about them after Aguilera’s goal, but it was as if they could not be sparked, at least not collectively. Berti attempted to burst down the right, but he was stopped in his tracks. Baggio tried similar down the left, but he was halted by a brave De León tackle, which caused the defender some rib pain as Baggio fell into him studs first. The big Nacional man needed some attention before the game could continue. However, if Italy had suddenly wanted to up the ante, it was all too little, too late. They never came close to breaching the Uruguayan defensive a second time, and the referee could bring the game to an end after Seré had elected to box away a Baggio corner from the left. Less than a minute of time had been added.
In their previous outing, the Italians had been using Borgonovo in a somewhat similar role as the one Serena had tonight. The big difference was Italy’s desire to look for Serena in the air: They would look for him to win headers on the outskirts of the penalty area, something which was rarely a success against two big central defenders. Borgonovo possibly moved more wisely; Serena would at times be stationary. Who was the better fit for Vicini’s selection? It would probably depend on the nature of the opponents, as Borgonovo had been tightly marked by Iovan against Romania, whereas the Uruguayans would have a zonal marking approach. Neither came to prominence in two matches where Italy struggled as an attacking force. Another player in, or should Vicini look to alter his tactics for more forward versatility?
A draw was a fair result in a match without a lot of great talking points. Uruguay showed resilience in defence, and they restricted the hosts to very few scoring opportunities. Italy were not attacking with a lot of pace and were fairly easy to defend against. The visitors, however, were no strangers to breaking with pace, but there was rarely enough accuracy about them for the Italians to be troubled defensively. Baggio’s opening goal was a piece of art, but it was probably deservedly cancelled out as the two Uruguayan substitutes combined for Aguilera to slot home late on. A draw served the game right with neither side displaying their very best. The Italian bandwagon had derailed somewhat in their last two friendlies after their five wins on the trot. They would have another opportunity to showcase their intentions only four days later with Hungary scheduled to come to Taranto in the south east of the country for Italy’s next friendly. Uruguay’s next test would arrive in Montevideo in the shape of Ecuador on May 3, the first leg of a home and away double header against the Ecuadorians, as they were both preparing for the Copa América.
1 Zenga 6.7
difficult to judge as he was relatively unworked. Makes a bit of an awkward save from a low Sosa shot. Substituted at h-t, probably pre-determined
(12 Tacconi 6.9
makes a terrific low save from Alzamendi’s effort, and has a safe aerial catch from a corner. Eager to play it long)
2 Bergomi 6.7
the skipper helps restricting the Italian wide play in his lack of contribution inside the visitors’ half. Does ok against Sosa defensively, but has a couple of hurried headed clearances which cause a bit of stir among his fellow defenders
3 De Agostini 7.1
a very good first half in which he proves an attacking success, getting into some fine crossing positions. Has a quick opponent in Alzamendi, and needs to be bailed out by Baresi. Also more restricted in going forward after the break, but easily the better Italian full-back
4 Baresi 7.1
shows an impressive burst of pace when up against Alzamendi. Appears with usual calmness, but not as prolific in instigating attacks, probably due to Giannini lying fairly deep
5 Ferri 6.8
committed display, but not always punctual; some sloppy passing and wayward shooting. Does ok against Francescoli
6 Berti 6.7
not a highly efficient performance. Does not make use of his ability to run into deep positions, and does not link up as well as could’ve been hoped with Bergomi along the right hand side after the break. Combative
7 Baggio 7.0
his goal a peach – free-kick expertise at its best. Does show a couple of bursts of pace, but little comes of it. A couple of times too easily brushed off the ball. Links up well with Giannini
8 Marocchi 6.9
a solid if unspectacular performance. Does add some balance to midfield with his left foot. Sits too deep to be of any threat to Uruguay defensively
9 Vialli 6.9
his usual wandering self: soon left, soon right, probably more menacing through the centre: once played through by Ferri but saw his shot saved, once tackled on the edge of the penalty area. Came off early as he seemed to feel something in his thigh
(18 Carnevale 6.7
not greatly involved during his debut, but lead the charges along with Baggio in Italy’s best counter-attack. Drifts out into both channels, but only sparingly used)
10 Giannini 6.9
clearly deeper than in Romania in their last outing, and though his ability to pass the ball is excellent, he does not get full value for his creative ability in this role
11 Serena 6.7
often the aim when Italy need a tall head around the penalty area, but no great goal threat
1 Seré 6.9
on three occasions opted to box out balls into the six yard box. Could have positioned himself better for Baggio’s goal, but other than that he was relatively untroubled
2 Revelez 7.0
does well in the aerial challenges with Serena. Positions himself well, and seems very compatible with De León
3 De León 6.9
very strong, calm, but is less in the thick of the action than his central defensive partner
4 Herrera 7.2
a very fine display where he kept his defensive side relatively untroubled as well as contributing inside the Italians’ half
5 Perdomo 6.9
benefitted from the sedate pace of the game, and won a good few tackles inside his own half. Less visible after the break
6 Dominguez 7.0
both full-backs came to prominence, helped by a slight lack of Italian width. Competent on the ball, though not as contributive in an attacking capacity as Herrera opposite
7 Alzamendi 7.0
often a worry to the home defence with his pace, and a feature on the counter. Not particularly fruitful when one on one
8 Correa 6.7
more involved during the first half than after the break. Something of a Wasserträger in midfield: doing a lot of running and passing the ball on to his more creative team mates. Taken off for a bit of more creativity
(14 Ostolaza –
makes use of his minutes on the pitch as he back heels to Aguilera for the goal, and has more physicality about him than Correa whom he replaced)
9 Francescoli 7.1
the most central figure in the visiting team, always in demand of the ball and with the ability to make something of it. Wasted a decent free-kick opportunity in the second half. Linked up nicely with Bengoechea. On the receiving end a couple of tough tackles, but positive throughout
10 Bengoechea 7.0
skillful and constructive, linked up well with his captain, but also gave away a few needless free-kicks, and had three relatively weak efforts from distance. Gave way as Uruguay were in search for an equalizer
(16 Aguilera –
capped his cameo with a goal. Showed his low centre of gravity and his movability. Easily beat when in direct battle)
11 Sosa 6.9
another feature in the Uruguayans’ counter-attacks, but at times isolated along the left. Almost caught Zenga by surprise early in the game
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12Tacconi 13Ferrara 14Maldini 15Fusi 16Mancini 17Borgonovo 18carnevale 19Donadoni
12Oscar Ferro 13Luis Romero 14Santiago Ostolaza 15William Castro 16Carlos Aguilera 17Sergio Martinez