MARSEILLE, France (AP) _ Christian Vieri scored his tournament-high fifth goal in the 18th minute as Italy defeated Norway 1-0 today to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
Italy, which will face either France or Paraguay at Saint-Denis on Friday, advanced by choking the set-play attack that had earned the Norwegians their best World Cup showing.
Defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Giuseppe Bergomi kept a body on tall striker Tore Andre Flo, and goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca made a great diving save on Flo’s header in the 71st minute to preserve the lead.
The goal came on a classic Italian counterattack. Luigi Di Biagio sent a long through ball ahead to Vieri, who outraced defender Dan Eggen and fought off the defender’s clutches to drive a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Frode Grodas.
The five goals for the 24-year-old Vieri, who had only two goals in eight career appearances for Italy before the start of the World Cup, moved him ahead of Argentina’s Gabriel Batistuta as the tournament’s leading scorer.