Result: Italy finish third at Confederations Cup

Ten-man Italy beat Uruguay 3-2 in a penalty shootout to finish third at the Confederations Cup.

Italy have won bronze at the Confederations Cup by beating Uruguay on penalties in the third-place playoff in Salvador.

The Azzurri twice led in normal time courtesy of strikes from Davide Astori and Alessandro Diamanti, but a brace from Edinson Cavani forced the match beyond the 90-minute mark.

Riccardo Montolivo was shown a red card with 10 minutes of extra time remaining, but despite their numerical disadvantage, Italy held on to force a shootout, where they prevailed 3-2.

A teammate embraces Italy's Gianluigi Buffon after he saved the decisive shot during the penalty shoot-out at the soccer Confederations Cup third-place match against Uruguay on June 30, 2013© AP Photos

Nervousness appeared to be on display early in the match and the opening 15 minutes brought a couple of half-chances for either side.

Gianluigi Buffon was forced into action to deny Diego Forlan from outside the box, before a low drive from Antonio Candreva tested the reflexes of Fernando Muslera at the other end.

Diamanti was next to come close for the Italians with a driven effort that whizzed just wide from an acute angle.

Diamanti was involved again moments later as Italy took the lead. The Bologna midfielder's free kick crashed off the crossbar and Astori turned the rebound into the back of the net from just yards out.

Luis Suarez almost levelled just before the half-hour mark, but his powerful effort was blocked by Buffon.

Cavani did find the back of the net with a header for Uruguay in the latter stages of the half, but the Napoli striker was correctly ruled offside.

However, Cavani was not to be denied just before the hour mark when he collected a clever pass from Walter Gargano and finished expertly into the bottom corner.

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani is congratulated by team mates after scoring his first goal against Italy during the Confederations Cup on June 30, 2013© AP Photos

Forlan twice came close to sending Uruguay into the lead on 68 minutes, but Buffon was on hand to deny the former Manchester United man with a double save.

Buffon was called into action again moments later to deny a powerful strike from Alvaro Gonzalez with another impressive save.

Despite persistent pressure from Uruguay, Italy regained the lead on 73 minutes when Diamanti curled an unstoppable free kick into the top corner.

The Azzurri's lead lasted only five minutes, though, as Cavani responded in kind by dispatching a stunning 30-yard free kick beyond Buffon's despairing dive to force extra time.

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring his second goal against Italy during the Confederations Cup on June 30, 2013© AP Photos

With Italy seemingly suffering from fatigue following Thursday's energy-sapping defeat to Spain in the semi-finals, it was Uruguay who looked the more likely side to find a fifth and decisive goal.

The South Americans' dominance increased further midway through the second period of overtime when Montolivo was sent down the tunnel for picking up a second yellow card.

Suarez and Cavani both came very close to netting a winner, but Italy desperately hung on to ensure that the match would be decided by a penalty shootout.

Forlan, who missed a penalty in Uruguay's semi-final defeat to Brazil, failed to convert from 12 yards again, as Buffon made an important save to hand Italy the momentum in the shootout.

Alberto Aquilani, Stephan El Shaarawy, Cavani and Suarez made no mistakes with their spot kicks, but Mattia De Sciglio, Martin Caceres and Gargano saw their efforts saved, meaning that Italy emerged victorious.

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Uruguay's Diego Forlan shoots from the penalty spot but fails to score during the soccer Confederations Cup semifinal match between Brazil and Uruguay on June 26, 2013
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Live Commentary: Uruguay 2-2 Italy (Italy win 3-2 on penalties) - as it happened

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