Classy Italians ease to African victory
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Azzurri sealed the win with two goals in each half, as coach Giovanni Trapattoni named a side close to his starting XI.
Veteran Christian Panucci lined up in defence alongside Alessandro Nesta, captain Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluca Zambrotta - who normally plies his trade in midfield for Juventus.
Cristiano Zanetti and Simone Perrotta anchored the middle, with Mauro Camoranesi, Alessandro Del Piero and Francesco Totti playing in a three-man attacking line behind Christian Vieiri.
The match started with a high tempo and both Del Piero and Totti were on the end of some zealous challenges - which they almost reacted to.
After 16 minutes the Italians were into their stride and they went ahead as Totti tormented the Tunisian defence before crossing into the danger zone, where home captain Riadh Bouazizi beat Christian Vieri to the ball and put through his own net.
Just ten minutes later the lead was doubled as Cannavaro rose to meet a Totti corner and head low into the net.
Half time saw a host of changes from Trapattoni - with six coming at the interval.
A further two replacements came in the second period, which past without much incident until the final five minutes as the Italians moved out of first gear for the first time in the half.
The third came with just four minutes left as Pirlo - a half time replacement - curled home a trademark free kick.
The Italians sealed the win when Zambrotta slotted home from close range after Bernardo Corradi's header was parried.