Wednesday, July 05, 2006



Beautiful football prevails! The deserved wins! Justice has been served!


Italy played much more beautiful football while Germany played with more brute force. Italy hit the woodwork twice and the Indian friends watching with me said it will not be an Italian night. I was abit worried before the match with the reports of the 4 Serie A clubs' fates almost confirmed before the match. In addition to Capello quitting the job in Juventus. I was cursing for the bad timing of all these announcements!

All my friends told me it will be the host to go through. Nobody gave Italy any hope to win this match. I am probably the only guy to believe Italy will win. I was cheering alone. I was abit disappointed with the decisions not to attack by Italy in the second half but I guess the change of the tired Toni to Gilardino gave more attacking strength up front. Gilardino almost scored in extra time but was denied by the bar after an excellent solo effort getting past Ballack inside the penalty box. Zambrotta too from a corner kick pass to him. He hit the upright. During both occasions, Lehmann was helpless. Del Piero's entrance was not expected but he gave alot more life into the Italian midfield to move forward as everybody was extremely exhausted. In the extra time, the midfield zone was almost empty.

Cannavaro and Buffon again are damn rock solid in defence. Cannavaro especially has been so reliable in this campaign he just kept Klose so quiet. Buffon too for the late great save against Podolski. The Italians close range passings in extremely tight spaces were second to none, beautifully executed and the backheels, the bicycle kicks just made their football so much more attractive. However, there were so many fouls committed during the match. The Italians especially were extremely theatrical from some of the collisions with the German players, especially Totti.

When it came close to full time, Klinsmann brought on wide midfielders Schweinsteiger (man I hate to spell his name!) and Odonkor who did breath new life into the wings of attack. Odonkor impressed me during the Argentinian match and I was damn worried this guy would do something extremely dangerous. However, Cannavaro prevailed. He was just too damn good.

The goals came late into the extra time. Pirlo had a great shot outside the penalty box which Lehmann pushed out. The corner came, Pirlo got the ball outside the box, found time to squeeze a pass in for Grosso who kicked a tight wonderfully curved ball into the net beyond the reaches of Lehmann. The second came after Germany pushed forward desperately with just two minutes left in extra time. They left a big hole behind, Del Piero got the ball from the unselfish Gilardino, went one on one against Lehmann, chipped the ball over beautifully and scored.


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