Diana salvages draw for Italy
By Richard Scott
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
A late goal by Aimo Diana rescued a 1-1 draw for Italy against Ivory Coast.Italy salvaged a draw with four minutes to go after a strike from Sampdoria's Aimo Diana pegged back Ivory Coast in a friendly played in Geneva.
The second-half substitute scored his first international goal and one that preserved Italy's unbeaten record in 2005.
The first half was a tight affair with neither team being able to create any clear-cut chances. The Ivory Coast had the first chance of the game when Aruna Dindane had a shot well saved by Christian Abbiati in the Italian goal.
Alberto Gilardino had the best chance of the first half but the Milan striker blasted the ball over from the edge of the box after a neat piece of skill.
The second half was a more open affair as both teams came out looking for the win but there was still a lack of chances. Arouna Kone had a decent effort from the edge of the box on 57 but it was straight at Abbiati.
The game really sparked into life when Didier Drogba put The Elephants ahead on 69 minutes. The Chelsea striker found space in the box from a long straight ball, controlled it superbly with his right foot and then drilled a shot high into the net past Abbiati.
This stunned Italy into life and their pressure told when Diana popped up at the back post to side foot the equaliser after a good cross from Gianluca Zambrotta.
It looked like Diana had stolen the win in injury time for Italy but the referee deemed his shot had not crossed the line as Boubacar Barry in the Ivory Coast scrambled across the goal. Television replays proved inconclusive and a draw was probably a fair result.