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Oh my, what a match between Italy and Romania!  The first match was all open-ended stuff.  The Italians were trying to use their big man Luca Toni for headers while the Romanians were countering quite quickly and often.  The Romanians also used set pieces well but at the end of the first half all I could say was Lobont and Buffon.  The two keepers came up huge time and time again.  But we were going to have to wait until the second half to see how this one turned out.

The second half was more of the same pretty much.  The Italians continued to look for Luca Toni in the box while the Romanians were looking at Mutu on the counter.  The Romanians continued to play great defence and fought as hard as any team I've seen in the tourney.  Finally, they capitilized.  They earned a defensive free-kick and they played a long, long switch down the pitch that looked to be intercepted by Gianluca Zambrotta.  But Zambrotta didn't get his head on it well enough.  His attempted ball back to Buffon was a hospital ball and the Romanians pouned in the form of Adrian Mutu for a huge 55th minute goal.  Mutu simply grabbed the ball and slotted it into the roof of the net.

Then Italy quickly earned a corner kick.  A minute after Mutu's finish, the corner was kept alive by Chiellini of Italy and it somehow found Panucci of Italy for the easy netter.  For the next five minutes the two sides, the fans, the announcers, and myself seemed to start to settle down.  Then late in the match it looked as if Romania had won it when an Italian defender pulled a Romanian attacker down in the box.  The ref called the PK and it was the hero Mutu stepping up again to take the penalty.

Mutu stepped up and powered a shot to Buffon's left.  It wasn't all-the-way in the corner and Buffon ultimately was able to somehow get a hand on a ball that he looked like he had went to far over to get.  But luckily Buffon got his hand up and stopped the deflected hand-ball from going in and the Italians were in the clear, or where they?  No, they weren't.  The Romanians tried even harder to score but were denied just like the Italians in the final 10 minutes.  The final score from Zurich was Romania 1, Italy 1.  Just a great match.  If you haven't seen it and you have a chance then please check it out.  You won't be disappointed.

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