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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

World Cup Open Thread

Yeah, I know how you feel. Wait until Sunday

Wednesday: France v Portugal 2:55 PM EDT ESPN

Germany 0-2 Italy (aet)
Highlights: Germany 0-2 Italy (aet)
Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Stunning late extra-time strikes from Fabio Grosso and Alessandro del Piero took Italy into the World Cup final at Germany's expense with a 2-0 win.

An absorbing semi-final seemed set for penalties until Grosso curled man of the match Andrea Pirlo's pass past Jens Lehmann with just one minute left.

Del Piero then finished an Italy break with a delicate chip into the corner.

Germany's Lukas Podolski earlier sent a header wide and saw a shot saved, but the hosts' Cup dreams were shattered.

There were, unsurprisingly, tears among German players and fans after the extraordinary end to an enthralling encounter - in which Italy also hit the woodwork twice in extra-time.

The opening 90 minutes were intriguing - but goalless - and it was in the extra period that the game truly exploded into life.

The Italians, famed for their defensive strength, adopted an increasingly attacking approach, aware of the Germans' brilliant record at penalty shoot-outs.

Substitute Alberto Gilardino's shot rebounded off the post and Gianluca Zambrotta's drive struck the bar.

But Podolski led the German attacking threat, missing the header from David Odonkor's cross and forcing a brilliant one-handed save from Gianluigi Buffon.

Del Piero then squandered a shooting chance from the edge of the box after great work from Vincenzo Iaquinto and Francesco Totti and Pirlo forced a diving save from Lehmann.

But Pirlo still had time to have his say as, with Italy pushing forward in numbers, he threaded the ball to Grosso whose first-time shot left Lehmann with no chance.

The goal was timed at 119 minutes and Germany, and their supporters who had crammed into Dortmund's Signal Iduna

All of a sudden Italy shredded the German defense and that was that. The Germans expected to go to penalty kicks and that didn't happen.

How the fuck did the Italians win?

posted by Steve @ 11:14:00 PM

11:14:00 PM

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