Buffon milestone in Italy draw
Gianluigi Buffon marked his 100th appearance for Italy with a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at home to Holland.
Last Updated: 27/11/09 8:57am
Gianluigi Buffon marked his 100th appearance for Italy with a clean sheet following a 0-0 draw at home to Holland.
The legendary goalkeeper produced a smart stop from Rafael van der Vaart to keep Italy level, while Giampaolo Pazzini saw a late effort for the hosts ruled out for handball.
Holland suffered an early setback when Arsenal striker Robin van Persie limped off and was replaced by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt had the first opportunity of the game in the 20th minute with his right-footed strike from the edge of the area going wide of the far post.
The Azzurri reacted with Raffaele Palladino firing a shot from 30 yards that forced Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to dive to his right to clear.
Italy goalkeeper Buffon made a stunning save to keep out Van der Vaart's free-kick that had taken a deflection off Palladino's head.
On the stroke of half-time, Stekelenburg did well to come off his line, anticipating the run of Antonio Candreva, who was ready to head home from Andrea Pirlo's cross.
Lippi made his first substitution early in the second half with Giuseppe Rossi taking Palladino's place in attack.
The Azzurri showed more determination up front and on the hour mark, Mauro Camoranesi did well to get past his marker before crossing into the area only for the Dutch defence to clear away the danger.
Shortly afterwards, Fabio Grosso's cross found Camoranesi on the edge of the area but his strike was blocked by a defender.
With 10 minutes remaining, substitute Davide Biondini, who was making his senior debut for the world champions, teed up Rossi inside the area but mis-timed his shot.
The Italians thought they had broken the deadlock with seven minutes remaining when substitute Pazzini got behind Fabio Cannavaro's header inside the area to bundle the ball home.
But the referee quickly whistled, ruling that the Sampdoria frontman had used his arm to steer the ball in.