Tuesday, July 4, 2006
Two stylish Italian goals minutes from the end of the second period of Extra Time prevented a penalty kick shootout and sent Germany out of the FIFA World Cup in Dortmund on Tuesday.
Despite the best attacking efforts from the two teams, the score had remained level during 90 minutes of regulation time and the 28 overtime minutes that preceded the game winner.
Moments after Jens Lehmann had dived to put Andrea Pirlo’s 25 yard drive behind for a corner, the German keeper was helpless. With the clock on 119 minutes Fabio Grosso, found in the area by Pirlo, circled a left foot shot across him just inside the far post.
Just two minutes later, Alessandro Del Piero got Italy’s second with the last kick of the game when he clipped high past Lehmann’s left hand at the end of a fast break-away with Alberto Gilardino.
Lehmann had the busier match and made eight saves while Gianluigi Buffon was troubled by two. The Arsenal goalkeeper had also to deal with twelve corner kicks, many of which he plucked easily from the Italian heads.
Germany played the game without ball winner Torsten Frings, whom FIFA had suspended from the match for a punch thrown in a melee after the penalty shootout in the quarter-final against Argentina.
In the 90 minutes the better chances fell to Germany. On half an hour Bernd Schneider was free on goal but did not keep his shot down. After an hour Lukas Podolski, right of goal, spun and shot but was denied by Gianluigi Buffon.
The Italian defence had not conceded a goal for four games, and were to go on to record a fifth shut out in six games at the World Cup finals.
The statistics suggest Italy were the most attacking side in the match with eight more corners, nine more offsides and 14 per cent more ball possession than their opponents.
Italy played overtime with a vigorous intent to win and nearly cracked the Germans in the first two minutes. Gilardino cut back from the goal line and got away a sneaky near post shot but it bounced off the inside of Lehmann’s left post. Gianluca Zambrotta drove one from the edge of the area but was denied by Lehmann’s crossbar.
The Germans who had gone the full 120 minutes in their last game appeared the more tired team but had a chance to go 1-0 in front. Lukas Podolski was found unmarked at the near post, but his header from ten yards was about ten yards wide.
Italy had an emotional history of penalty kick shootout losses at the World Cup, including a defeat in the 1994 World Cup final, but Marcello Lippi’s team’s persistence was eventually rewarded. There were no penalties to overcome. Germany has won a total of five World Cup penalty shootouts in a row.
Coach: Jürgen Klinsmann
denotes one goal scored.
Coach: Marcello Lippi
denotes one goal scored.
Referee: Benito Archundia
Assistant referee: Jose Ramirez
Assistant referee: Hector Vergara
Fourth referee: Toru Kamikawa
Fifth referee: Yoshikazu Hiroshima
France beat Portugal 1-0 and reach Fifa World Cup final