Uruguay 2-2 Italy (Italy win 3-2 on pens)

By Chris McKennaBBC Sport
Highlights: Italy edge out Uruguay

Gianluigi Buffon saved three penalties as Italy beat Uruguay to claim third place in the Fifa Confederations Cup.

Davide Astori put Italy ahead when he tapped home on the line before Edinson Cavani equalised with a low effort.

Alessandro Diamanti restored Italy's lead with a curling free-kick and then Cavani levelled again with a stunning free-kick to ensure extra-time.

Riccardo Montolivo was sent off for two yellow cards in extra-time but Italy held on to seal a 3-2 win on penalties.

Diego Forlan, Martin Caceres and Walter Gargano all missed to hand Italy third spot in Salvador.

Just three days after 120 minutes and a penalty shoot-out defeat by Spain in the semi-finals, Italy had to go through it all again but this time they came out on top with Alberto Aquilani, Stephan El Shaarawy and Emanuele Giaccherini converting their spot-kicks to reprieve Mattia De Sciglio who missed.

It was left to Gargano to score Uruguay's fifth penalty to force Italy to take another but Buffon saved again after also denying Forlan and Caceres.

If there was any fatigue from Thursday's marathon against the world champions, it was not evident in Cesare Prandelli's side in the early stages with five changes made from that defeat helping the Azzurri command the early stages.

Despite dominating Spain for long periods on Thursday before their penalty shoot-out defeat, Italy lacked a killer touch in front of goal and a bit of fortune but they certainly got the latter for their opener here.

A Diamanti free-kick came off the bar and hit keeper Fernando Muslera on the back before heading towards the line just as Astori came in to make sure the ball was over.

Uruguay, who had an extra day to recuperate following their 2-1 defeat by Brazil in the last four, finally found a footing in the game as Luis Suarez and Maximiliano Pereira both tested Buffon with strikes from inside the area.

Oscar Tabarez's side then levelled after the break as a superb run from Gargano cut Italy open and he slid the ball to Cavani who curled the ball past a helpless Buffon.

Uruguay were on top and only a good double save from Buffon denied Forlan putting Tabarez's side ahead.

Just as Italy's match against Spain looked to have them running on empty, Bologna midfielder Diamanti stepped up to curl in a stunning free-kick in the 73rd minute.

If Diamanti's was special, then Cavani's was even better just five minutes later as the Napoli striker beat Buffon from distance with a powerful set-piece of his own.

The equaliser sent the game to an extra 30 minutes as players on both sides suffered with cramp.

Montolivo's dismissal for Italy in the second half of extra-time after a second yellow for a foul on Suarez gave Uruguay the upper hand late on but they could not find a winner and it went to penalties.

This time Italy came out on top as Uruguay failed to match the precision of the Spain side that overcame the Azzurri.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez:

"You can't just go by what you read in the newspapers. Even if they were tired, they played a great match.

"They controlled the ball possession in the first half and they made us suffer."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli:

"The main thing was our character. We showed fantastic character. We never gave up.

"We still have a long way to go but we're on the right road."