Italy qualified for the semi-finals of the World Cup despite going to the break with a three-goal deficit. The Azzurri never lost hope and battled back to clinch a spot in the next round of the tournament where they’ll face Spain.

Saad, who has scored seven goals so far in the World Cup, played from the start and he was one of the decisive players in Italy’s comeback.

Ricardinho leads Portugal to early lead

In the first half of the quarter-final match, Ricardinho scored three goals to give his team a comfortable lead before the break. The Portuguese star, who currently plays in the Japanese league, was simply on fire but his efforts weren’t enough to see off the plucky Italians. Ricardinho nearly sealed qualification for Portugal in the second half of overtime but his shot crashed against the woodwork.

Incredible comeback

Italy, just as Brazil did against Argentina, mounted a miraculous comeback against their quarter-final rivals. Saad Assis, from the penalty spot, put the Azzurri on the comeback trail after 21 minutes.

16 minutes later, Italy kicked it into high gear and fired three goals past Portugal in five minutes. Goals from Lima and Fortino brought the Italians level just before full time. In overtime, a good individual play from Honorio sealed the comeback and Italy’s place in the World Cup semi-finals.

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