Euro 2016: Germany v Italy [Review]
The 3rd game of the Euro 2016 quarter-finals took place this evening with world champions Germany facing off against Euro 2012 finalists Italy, at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in France.
Football (or soccer) can sometimes be like chess and tonight's game was definitely one of those times. In the first half Italy were focused on keeping their defensive solidarity whilst Germany were focused on forcing Italy's wing-backs into their own half in order to halt their attacking options.
The 2nd half became more eventful when Italy picked up some yellow cards and Germany were able to break down their defence with a 64th minute goal by Arsenal's Mesut Özil. It was as though Germany waited for Italy to be in this position so that the Italians would have to be more cautious with their tackles.
It appeared as though Italy were never going to come back with Germany piling on heaps on pressure, going in for the kill. Then almost out of nowhere, Bayern Munich defender Boateng seemed to have mistaken himself for a bird as he unnecessarily threw his arms up in the box and gave Italy the handball they needed for a penalty. Juventus CB Bonucci surprisingly took the pen and coolly slotted it into the bottom right of the net.
The game went into extra time and was played with more urgency than is usual in ET. Despite the desire from both teams to score, tired legs made it difficult and eventually the game went to penalties. The penalty shootout was of a very different nature to the actual game, with terrible misses from the likes of Özil, Müller and Zaza. It took until the 9th German shot for fullback Hector to put the game to bed with the shootout ending 6-5 in Germany's favour.