Friday, June 29, 2012


It was a very open match where both teams gave much spaces for each other to attack deep into each other's halves. This enabled an exciting flow of the match between both teams too. Therefore, it was a far more exciting match than the previous one between Spain and Portugal. Germany ended up attacking more of the Italian defence but opened up their defence too much. Two very good chances were almost resulted in goal, with the first one being defended by Pirlo as Buffon left the goal wide open after falling down from a corner while the second one from Boateng crossing in almost resulted in an own goal by Barzagli. Italy responded with a direct shot on goal by Montolivo and then a good one from Cassano.

In the 20th minute, via a good left side cross by Cassano, Balotelli met it with a header which ended with the first goal of the match. Germany did not respond with much pressure although they attacked more from here onwards. A try by Kheidara was dangerous but Buffon managed to save it. Chiellini in one of the counter attacks, sent a pass that split the German defence, which overcame the offside trap. Balotelli took it down and hit a shot into the net at the top corner in the 36th minute. The German defence really needed to be stronger as well as putting pressure on the Italian offence if they are ever thinking of overcoming this match.

In the second half, Germany played deeper in the Italian half in order to find the goals to respond. However, the resounding Italian defence helped keep out most of the chances. I feel that the Germans were just not giving Italy enough pressure, especially when the possession was with Italy that they didn't press enough to get back the possession. The Italian defence restricted most of the German offence to the outside of the penalty box. A very dangerous freekick by Reus in front of goal was saved by Buffon. In the dying minutes of the full time, a handball by Balzaretti caused a penalty kick to be given to Germany. Ozil converted the penalty kick by scoring a shot at the top right hand corner of the goal. It was too late as there was not enough time to comeback to score the equalizer.

Pirlo to me was the best player on the field which gave the Italians the victory despite Balotelli scoring the two goals. He was everywhere and his passes were just classy. Italy will go into the final to play Spain, a rematch of their first group stage match.

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