• Short Summary

    Italy became the seventh country to qualify for the 1974 World Cup Soccer Finals on Saturday (20 October) when they beat Switzerland 2 - 0 in Rome.

  • Description

    Italy became the seventh country to qualify for the 1974 World Cup Soccer Finals on Saturday (20 October) when they beat Switzerland 2 - 0 in Rome.

    Italy were the beaten finalists in the 1970 competition and now clinch top place in qualifying Group Two.

    Gianni Rivera and Gigi Riva Scored Italy's goals - the first conceded by Switzerland in the qualifying competition. Italy, who led 1 - 0 at half-time, have not conceded a goal in their six-match programme, while scoring 12 goals from four wins and two draws.

    Italy seemed sluggish at the start and were slow to warm-up, allowing Switzerland to dominate the mid-field. The Swiss narrowly missed tow good chances early on through Chapuisat and Blattler.

    But, as the end of the first-half neared, Italy suddenly came alive and began to show their usual form.

    Their first goal came from a penalty by Rivera after Riva had been brought down by Chapuisat in front of the Swiss goal in the 40th minute as picked up a superb through-pass from Mazzola.

    In the second-half Italy were by far the much better side leaving Switzerland fumbling only occasional attacking chances. Star striker Riva unsuccessfully bombarded the Swiss goal several times before hitting the mark with a terrific header from a corner by Causio in the 80th minute.

    The only form of Swiss retaliation was to play hard, aggressive soccer resulting in several free-kicks and Chapuisat having his name taken.

    SYNOPSIS: Italy versus Switzerland - a World Cup qualifying round. The Swiss, in white and kicking from left to right, met the beaten 1970 finalists in Rome on Saturday. It took some time for the Italians to warm up and the Swiss had most of the play for best part of the first-half. But try as they might, they couldn't score. Italy had not conceded a goal in their qualifying programme.

    The Swiss had narrowly missed two good chances early on and, as the Italians began to get into their stride, reverted to rough-tough tactics. It cost them a penalty when Chapuisat brought down Italian star Riva in front of the goal.

    It was a blatent foul by Chapuisat on Riva as he picked up a beautiful through pass from Mazzola.

    Rivera with the kick.

    The Swiss tried hard to retaliate and get back on level terms, but a solid Italy thwarted them in the few remaining minutes to half-time.

    With the score one - nil in favour of Italy, the home team swung into the attack from the resumption. A delighted crowd saw Italy hammer the Swiss goal time and again. They wee rewarded in the 80th minute when Riva put the ball in the net from a corner by Causio.

    Italy now go through as the seventh country to qualify for the Munich finals next year.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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