Two Late Goals Lead Australia Over Favored Japan

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The New York Sun

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – Tim Cahill scored in the 84th and 89th minutes yesterday and John Aloisi got a goal in injury time as Australia shocked Japan with a 3-1 win in their Group F opener.

The Aussies didn’t appear capable of even tying the game after falling behind in the first half. But Cahill equalized when he picked up a loose ball off a throw-in and beat Japanese goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi with a right-footed shot in the 84th minute. Kawaguchi erred in coming out of his net.

Five minutes later, with the Japanese clearly off-balance, Cahill scored from 20 yards with a right-footed shot that caromed in off the goalpost.

“It was unbelievable to come away with a first World Cup win like that,” Aloisi said. “It was 10 minutes of probably the most exciting soccer that Australia has ever seen.”

Although the stunned Japanese pushed up for a second goal, it was Australia’s Aloisi who found the net in the final seconds from 15 yards after snaking through the defense.

ITALY 2, GHANA 0 In Hanover, Andrea Pirlo, a player identified by Ghana as someone it needed to stop, scored in the 40th minute, and Vincenzo Iaquinta added a goal in the 83rd as Italy beat Ghana 2-0 in Group E play.

Pirlo’s shot from 22 yards sneaked through a maze of bodies and into the corner of the net, one of many opportunities for both teams in an entertaining match.Ghana fell just short on a number of scoring chances and showed itself worthy of playing in its first World Cup.

Italy produced 13 shots on goal to Ghana’s four and hit the crossbar and goalpost once each.

“It was the best soccer of the tournament so far,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who attended the game, said.

The win may have been costly for Italy. Key playmaker Francesco Totti exited the game after apparently reinjuring his surgically repaired left leg in the second half. His status for Saturday’s game against America is uncertain.

The New York Sun

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