Italy, Romania draw after penalty miss
Gianluigi Buffon saved a late Adrian Mutu penalty to earn world champions Italy a 1-1 draw with Romania at Euro 2008. Special: Euro 2008sports Updated: Jun 14, 2008 01:37 IST
Gianluigi Buffon saved a late Adrian Mutu penalty to earn world champions Italy a 1-1 draw with Romania at Euro 2008 on Friday.
Striker Mutu put Romania ahead 10 minutes into the second half after Gianluca Zambrotta's poor back header but Italy hit back immediately when Christian Panucci prodded the ball in on the line.
Italy, humbled 3-0 by Netherlands in their opening Group C game on Monday, will feel hard done by after striker Luca Toni had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside before the interval.
He powerfully headed in from close range and television replays showed he was clearly behind the last defender when Zambrotta played the ball into the packed box.
Italy, who now await the outcome of the France v Netherlands game later ahead of their meeting with the French on Tuesday, made five changes from the Dutch debacle with striker Alessandro Del Piero coming in and captaining the side.
They also switched to a 4-3-1-2 formation from 4-3-3 and were much more vibrant, creating several chances in the air.
Del Piero failed to connect properly with an early close range header before strike partner Toni nodded wide from left back Fabio Grosso's cross.
Toni then had another header superbly pushed away by Romania goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont, who also did well to deny Italy in a goalmouth scramble.
Romania had their share of first half chances with Cristian Chivu hitting the post with a free kick which deflected off defender Panucci.
Mutu had a shot saved by Buffon after beating Italy's offside trap while the keeper was also forced into a smart stop from Gabriel Tamas's fierce free kick from distance.
Romania lost midfielder Mirel Radoi to a serious looking injury midway through the first period when he collided with team mate Razvan Rat. Defender Dorin Goian was also booked and will miss their final group game with the Dutch on Tuesday.