Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Cannavaro & Salihadmizic Lead Juve Into Peace Cup Final


The two giants of the game went head to head in the second semi-final of the Peace Cup and as expected, it was a clash Real Madrid dominated and created plenty of chances while Juventus happily played on the break.

It took only 30 seconds for the Bianconeri to make their intentions clear when Mauro Camoranesi clatterered hard into the back of Royston Drenthe and the Dutchman was left with an instant headache.

Two minutes later, Madrid repaid the favour when Miguel Torres barged down Camoranesi just outside the box towards the left and from the free-kick, Juve surged ahead. Alessandro Del Piero curled in his effort straight at goal and who else but Fabio Cannavaro ghosted in behind the defence and thumped a header past a wrong-footed Jerzy Dudek.

Madrid responded immediately as they sauntered forward with intent down both flanks but it was the Italians who came close to doubling their advantage on ten minutes. Sebastian Giovinco slipped in a lovely through ball to the left for Amauri, who pulled his shot just wide at the far post. And mere seconds later, Del Piero was left all alone inside the box to meet Hasan Salihamidzic’s cross but he just didn’t get enough purchase on his free header to trouble Dudek.

Madrid’s best chance came in the 15th minute when Guti charged his way past two defenders through the middle into the box but he failed to finish one-on-one with Buffon when his side-footed shot was kicked away by the Italian international custodian.

Los Blancos had another opening on 20 minutes when Esteban Granero’s disguised through ball found Raul, who managed to turn Cannavaro but the captain’s dinked shot just sailed over the bar.

Three minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo was presented with a free-kick opportunity from 25 yards out on the right channel but his effort flew high and wide. Straight to the other end, Amauri pounced on a poor back pass from Pepe, rounded Dudek but his shot was cleared on the line by Christoph Metzelder.

Five minutes before the break, the Spanish giants drew level from the spot. Raul ran onto CR9’s through ball but he was hacked down by Chiellini inside the box. Ronaldo stepped up an coolly chipped it straight down the middle after catching a glimpse of Buffon slanting to his left.

Madrid weren’t done as they continued pushing forward before the interval whistle went but the Serie A mammoths managed to stem the tide.  

There were two changes made at the break. Ciro Ferrara sent in Nicola Legrottaglie for Cannavaro, who may have tweaked a muscle early in the first period, while the fourth official entered the game to take over from the match referee.

Four minutes into the restart, Juventus restored their advantage. First, Giovinco danced and spun past Metzelder inside the box before clipping a superb cross to Camoranesi, who headed down and Dudek was forced to tip it over the bar at full stretch.

And it was from the resulting corner that the Old Lady took the lead. Del Piero swung his delivery to the near post and an unchallenged Salihamidzic rose high to nod it into the top far corner. It was the fifth goal Madrid conceded in the tournament and the fifth from a set-piece.

Moments later, Raul nearly equalised when Ronaldo’s shot was parried away by Buffon and Raul’s rebound cannoned off the wrong side of the post.

Buffon then had to make a superb reflex save when Guti whipped in a free-kick from the right flank and Metzelder just got the slightest of touches at the near post but ‘Gigi’ was alert to the threat to flap it away.

The ‘Men in White’ continued to persist in attack and Raul and Karim Benzema had a number of decent look-ins, but neither really troubled the Juventus shot-stopper. And as the flurry of substitutions came flooding in, the clear-cut chances started to dry up.

It wasn’t until the 80th minute that the next best opening arrived. Tiago ran onto a squared ball and curled in a low shot on the edge of the area, only to see it ping off the bottom of the right post.

Six minutes later, Camoranesi checked past two defenders but his shot right on the edge of the box ricocheted off Pepe, allowing Dudek to gather comfortably. A minute into injury time, the Portuguese defender almost levelled for Madrid when he headed Granero’s free-kick over the bar from three yards out, although he did have his back to goal.

The Merengues had one final chance three minutes into stoppage time when Buffon spilled a cross and Ronaldo tussled with two defenders before the goalkeeper was able to wrestle the ball away and clutch on to it safely.

And that was precisely how Juventus held on to march into the final of the 2009 Peace Cup to set-up a date with Aston Villa on Sunday.  



~ by footballdirecta on August 1, 2009.

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