Germany 1 - 1 Italy (Germany win 6-5 on penalties): 5 talking points
Germany entered the UEFA Euro 2016 semi-finals in style, defeating rivals Italy in an intense thriller of a football match Bordeaux tonight. In what was a repeat of last edition’s semi-final, the Germans got the better of the Italians, defeating them 6-5 in a penalty shootout after the score had remained 1-1 after extra time.
After a scoreless first half, Arsenal man Mesut Ozil put the Germans ahead in the 65th minute when he finished in a beautifully orchestrated team goal that left the Italian defense helpless. It looked as the Germans would take it before the Italians were awarded a penalty as Jerome Boateng handled the ball in the box. Leonardo Bonucci stepped up and equalized with 12 minutes of normal time left on the clock.
With the scores level, the game went into the extra time and eventually the penalty shootout as either of the teams failed to score again. The World Champions finally emerged victorious with a 6-5 win in the penalty shootout.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
Closely fought encounter
The quarterfinal clash between the two football superpowers was easily one of the most closely fought encounters of the tournament. Not only were the two teams evenly matched in scorline, there was also clear indication of a tactical masterclass from both the managers. Both the teams tried to move forward whenever possible but could not manage to score much, given the defensive performance from either team was flawless. With both teams managing to score only once each during the normal time, the game went into extra time which ended up scoreless. Then came the penalty shootout which was again evenly matched as both the teams kept their nerves. Each team had to take nine spot kicks before there was a winner.
Germany rewrite history
The German team might arguably be the best football team in the world, but coming into the match, the Italians had one thing going for them. They had never lost to Germany in a competitive fixture, a feat they were hoping to repeat yet again. With the last edition’s surprise semifinal triumph against the Die Mannschaft still fresh and having beaten the defending champions Spain earlier this tournament, the Italians came into the match with full confidence. The Germans kept their cool though and proved history wrong when they finally managed to get the better of the Azzurri in a very closely fought encounter.
Drawn out penalty shootout
Just like many before this tournament, the quarterfinal game between Germany and Italy had to be decided by a penalty shootout. The 1-1 scoreline after extra time meant that the two teams had to undergo the potentially painful experience of losing out in a shootout. What followed was an interesting shootout, with both the teams managing to score only two of their first five spot kicks. The game went into sudden death and neither team looked in the mood of slipping up as the score went up to 5-5 from 2-2. The breakthrough came only when a poor attempt from Matteo Darmian was saved by Manuel Neuer and Jonas Hector scored the winning kick to take Germany into the semifinals.