On this day in 2006 Daniele De Rossi saw red as Italy drew 1-1 with the United States of America at the World Cup.

The Azzurri had beaten Ghana 2-0 in their first match at the tournament, and Marcello Lippi made just one change from that game, bringing in Gianluca Zambrotta for Fabio Grosso at left-back.

Thing started well for Italy, with Alberto Gilardino heading home from Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick after 22 minutes.

On this day in 2006 Daniele De Rossi saw red as Italy drew 1-1 with the United States of America at the World Cup.

The Azzurri had beaten Ghana 2-0 in their first match at the tournament, and Marcello Lippi made just one change from that game, bringing in Gianluca Zambrotta for Fabio Grosso at left-back.

Thing started well for Italy, with Alberto Gilardino heading home from Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick after 22 minutes.

Just five minutes later though the Americans were level, thanks to a comedy own goal from Cristian Zaccardo.

Bobby Convey swung in a free-kick from the right, and the full-back attempted to clear with his weaker left foot.

He didn’t make proper contact, and the ball instead went behind him and into Gianluigi Buffon’s net.

Things went from bad to worse a minute later, when De Rossi inexplicably elbowed Brian McBride in the face for a deserved red card.

The 22-year-old was given a four-game ban for the incident, which left the U.S striker with a nasty cut under one eye.

Luca Toni nonetheless had the chance to give Italy the lead again, but he dragged his shot wide after being played through by Pirlo.

Lippi reacted to the red card by sending on Gennaro Gattuso for Francesco Totti, before Pablo Mastroeni sent a powerful effort just over Buffon’s crossbar.

It would be his last significant contribution to the match, as the American midfielder also saw red on the stroke of half-time.

Pirlo received the ball in midfield, and Mastroeni steamed in with a two-footed, studs-up challenge with left the Milan man in agony on the floor.

Things got worse for the Americans after the break, as Eddie Pope was also given his marching orders, fouling Gilardino for a second yellow on 47 minutes.

Now holding a man advantage, Lippi sent on first Alex Del Piero and then Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Carlos Bocanegra almost scored an own goal for his own, and was relieved to see his header crash back of Kasey Keller’s bar.

Damarcus Beasley had the ball in the net, but McBride had been offside and in Buffon’s way when he stepped over the shot.

Keller made a great save from a Del Piero volley, before also beating away a long range shot from the Juventus captain.

In the dying minutes, Del Piero cut it back for Iaquinta, but the U.S defence managed to scramble it clear.

With Ghana surprisingly beating the Czech Republic, the Azzurri were left in a perilous position.

While they led the group with four points, a defeat to the Czechs, then ranked as one of the best sides in the world, in the final game would see them crash out if Ghana also beat the United States.

Bygaby

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