Sunday, August 2, 2015

2 August 1948 - Pernigo Delivers A Record Pounding

On 2 August 1948, Italy and the United States met in the first round of the Olympics, resulting in a record-setting 9-0 victory for the Azzurri. It was the third time that the two countries met in a major international competition, with Italy winning on each occasion.

The 1948 tournament was the first since 1936, with the 1940 and 1944 Olympiads suspended due to World War II. Italy and the US had met in the first round of the 1936 Games, with the Italians eliminating the Americans with a 1-0 victory. Two years earlier, Italy had knocked the US out of the World Cup with a 7-1 win in the first round.

The rematch in 1948 was not as close. Italy jumped to an early lead with a goal from Francesco Pernigo (pictured) in the second minute, but the US defense played well to keep the score to a modestly respectable 2-0 deficit at the break, with the second goal coming from the penalty spot. In the second half, however, the Italians again scored quickly with a goal from Angelo Turconi in the 46th minute and the rout was on. Pernigo scored again in the 57th minute, on his way to a second-half hat-trick that included goals in the 88th and 90th minutes, to cap the 9-0 win.

The match was the first of only two national team appearances for Pernigo, who scored one goal in Italy's 5-3 loss to Denmark in the quarterfinals.

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