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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Baggio Saves Italy With 2 Late Goals

REUTERSFOXBORO, Massachusetts -- Roberto Baggio converted a penalty in the 102nd minute, leading Italy to a nailbiting 2-1 victory during extra time against Nigeria in their World Cup second round match Tuesday. Baggio rescued Italy in the 89th minute, latching onto a cross and driving a right-footed shot into the corner beyond goalkeeper Rufai's right to a roar of relief from their fans. The late strike sent the match into extra time, the first of seven second-round ties contested so far to go beyond the normal 90 minutes. Baggio broke the extra-time deadlock from the penalty spot in the 12th minute of extra time after Nigeria's Eguavoen had brought down Italian defender Antonio Benarrivo in the box. While Italian fans held their breath, Baggio stayed cool and planted his penalty shot to the right of goalkeeper Rufai. The roar of Italian relief which greeted this apparent salvation was immense. Emmanuel Amunike capitalised on a disastrous defensive error to give Nigeria a shock 1-0 halftime lead over Italy. The defence failed to clear a corner from the right by Finidi George, allowing Amunike to stab the ball home at the near post in the 26th minute. Until then Italy had held Nigeria's big forwards at bay, isolating them from each other and often catching them offside while creating a string of chances at the other end. Brazil 1, United States 0. In Monday's late game, artistry came a poor second to grit and determination as Brazil was forced to slog its way to a 1-0 win over the United States in Palo Alto. Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was delighted with the result after his team slugged it out with an opposition that packed its defense with the clear intention of holding on for a 0-0 draw and taking the match to a penalty shoot-out. He was even more satisfied that they did it playing the second half with 10 men after left-back Leonardo, normally one of the most level-headed players on the team, was shown the red card in the 43rd minute for elbowing U.S. midfielder Tab Ramos in the face. "We didn't lose our heads and even with one man less, we created more chances than the Americans. We played to qualify and that's what we did. We showed tremendous determination," he said. Dunga, the hard man of the Brazilian midfield, added: "The U.S. played hoping for a 0-0 draw and they hoped we would get nervous as time went by, but that didn't happen." It took Brazil 74 minutes to break through against a U.S. team that was gritty but woefully short of skill and, despite a home-crowd and one-man advantage for half the game, ambition. At times the game appeared to be a repeat of Brazil's 1990 nightmare, when it dominated its second-round game against Argentina, hit the post three times and was eliminated by a late goal by Claudio Caniggia in Argentina's only serious attack of the game. Against the United States, Romario hit the post, had another shot cleared of the line and then shot wide from a narrow angle with U.S. goalkeeper Tony Meola beaten before Bebeto's late goal. The Brazilian relief when it scored was so great that Bebeto was still celebrating with the Brazilian substitutes when the Americans restarted the game. Only minutes earlier, he had clenched his fists in frustration when Mazinho failed to pass him the ball during an attack. Despite this, Parreira insisted he team had not become nervous. "Our defense did splendidly. Taffarel was just a spectator on the field," he said.