World Cup: Italy gains edge in tight Group B standings.
By Jerry Langdon
Gannett News Service
(Wednesday, June 17, 1998) -- Austria continued to live on the edge, while Chile continued to be snake-bit at the end. Italy, meanwhile, moved ahead of the field, and Cameroon dug itself a big hole.
But all four teams remained in contention today for the top two places needed to advance to the second round of the World Cup from Group B.
Italy leads with 1-0-1 (4 points), with Chile and Austria second at 0-0-2 (2 points), and Cameroon fourth at 0-1-1 (1 point).
Ivica Vastic scored in injury time to give outplayed Austria its second straight last-moment tie, 1-1, against Chile. Tony Polster had similarly rescued Austria in the opener, a 1-1 draw against Cameroon.
Extra time is added in each half by the referee to compensate for substitutions and injuries and other delays of game. "It's no miracle," Austrian midfielder Harald Cerny said of the late goals. "We fought hard."
Chile, which dominated play, lost a chance at victory despite Marcelo Salas scoring his third goal of the tournament at the 70-minute mark. Chile had yielded a tying goal on a controversial handball ruling in a 2-2 opening draw against Italy in the 85th minute.
"I do not know what to say, why we have to suffer through things like this," coach Nelson Acosta said. "I don't know what happened, can't explain it."
Italy posted a 3-0 win against shorthanded Cameroon in a match much closer than the score indicates. Christian Vieri had two late goals after Cameroon's Raymond Kalla Nkongo was given a controversial red card in the 44th minute after sliding cleats-first into Italian midfielder Luigi DiBiagio, who himself was attempting a sliding tackle.
Cameroon still threatened several times the second half before Vieri made it
2-0 in the 75th minute. "It's true, we struggled a bit," Italy coach Cesare
Maldini said. "I don't know why, but a bit of fear crept in after we scored
the first goal. But we worked hard."
Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at
Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chile 1, Austria 1
Chile - Nelson Tapia, Ronaldo Fuentes, Francisco Rojas, Javier Margas,
Pedro Reyes, Nelson Parraguez, Clarence Acuna, Moises Villarroel (Cristian
Castaneda 67), Fabian Estay (Jose Luis Sierra 57), Ivan Zamorano, Marcelo Salas.
Italy 3, Cameroon 0
Italy - Gianluca Pagliuca, Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Costacurta,
Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Demetrio Albertini (Roberto Di Matteo 62), Dino
Baggio, Luigi Di Biagio, Fransesco Moriero (Angelo Di Livio 84), Roberto Baggio
(Alessandro Del Piero 65), Christian Vieri.