- And In the End, The Germans Win... -
uefa euro 2016 - quarter-finals
|Germany||1* - 1||Italy|
|Ozil 65'||(6 - 5)
|Bonucci (p) 78'|
As English footballer Gary Lineker said...in the end the Germans win. After being the better side in 120 minute of play, Germany defeated Italy 6-5 in a dramatic penalty shootout and advanced to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Germany took the lead, but a clumsy handball in the box gave Italy the lifeline and tying goal. Germany will now face the winner of the match between France and Iceland in the semi-finals.
The first half was a defensive showdown with both teams shutting out their opponent’s attack. Germany was the better side in the first half and the best chance fell to Gomez, but his header went over the bar.
As expected, the pace of the second half picked up. Italy was handed the first chance and Germany followed with an opportunity of their own, but Florenzi cleared the ball of the line from Muller’s shot. Germany continued to press the Italians and the breakthrough came through Ozil in the 65th minute. A fortunate deflection, along with lapse defending from the Italian, gave Ozil the close-ranged tap in to give Germany the lead. It did not seem that Italy could get back into the match, however with 12 minute to play a clumsy handball from Boateng resulted in a penalty for Italy. From the spot, Bonucci made no mistake, leveling Italy 1-1.
The match was sent into extra time where both teams played conservatively. Few opportunities were created by either team as the match went into the dreaded penalty shootout.
Italy scored their first penalty and Germany followed with Kroos’s successful shot. Zaza, who was subbed onto the pitch in the 120th minute for penalties, saw his shot go over the bar. Muller then failed to give Germany the advantage and Barzagli followed with a nice penalty to give Italy the 2-1 lead. The drama continued with Ozil and Pelle missing their shots and Draxler brought Germany level 2-2. Bonucci, who converted his penalty in normal regulation, was denied by Neyer and the veteran Schweinsteiger had the opportunity to send Germany through, However, his penalty went well over the bar and the shootout went into sudden death. Six successful penalties began the sudden death phase before Darmian’s penalty was saved by Neyer. Hector saw his strike barely squeeze by Buffon, ending the thrilling penalty shootout in favor of Germany.
This is Germany’s first ever win against Italy in an official match. Today’s win puts Germany in their 6th consecutive semi-finals at a major competition (was eliminated in the Euro 2004 group stage), something that has never been done by another nation. They will face the winner of the game between France and Iceland. Italy’s Euro 2016 run comes to a close after winning Group E and knocking out the defending champions, Spain, in the Last 16.