Italy beat Germany 2-1 in a pulsating Euro 2012 semifinal to move into the finals of the tournament where they will meet Spain in Kiev on Sunday, July 1.
Mario Balotelli was the ‘star of the show’ bagging a fabulous brace to lead the Italians to another memorable win in Warsaw.
The jinx continues…
Interestingly, The Germans were losing to Italy in competitive action for the umpteenth time – the last of which was the 2006 World Cup semifinal – with Italy boasting to have never lost to Germany in a tournament.
Germany started very strong with Podolski, Ozil, Gomez and Khedira almost breaking down the Italy defense with Buffon surprisingly tentative in goal early on with Pirlo having to clear off his line on one occasion when the Italy keeper missed an almost innocuous ball in the box.
The Azzurri soon settled and the movement and strength of Cassano and Balotelli were sapping the energy of the German backline with Pirlo again the major influence in the middle of the park.
The breakthrough came in the 20th minute when Cassano bamboozled his way past two defenders to square perfectly for ‘Super Mario’ to head past Neuer with Badstuber clueless and flat footed as he instead tried to hang on to the attacker.
It didn’t take long for the second goal and again it was Balotelli, latching on to a long ball with a brilliant first – and then even a better second touch – he fired an unstoppable shot into the net with Neuer stunned.
Ozil scored a late penalty for the Germans but that turned out to be no more than a consolation effort after Balzaretti handled in the box.