The whole thing played out like 1940. The Germans were slashing through Italy’s defence like they were in panzer tanks again, with Rommel at the front. They treated the midfield like it was the Rhineland, and Italy’s goal like it was Paris. March on, ye Deutschen. They attacked, and attacked, and attacked, with a carefully executed plan of offence not seen since World War II.
Those Germans. Always so efficient, so mobile. So cunning. Like their Shepherds, and like their Volkswagens. Only, this time, the Volks ran out of gas. And, while it’s very handy to build your cars with a diesel-only fuel tank, there just aren’t enough gas stations around that serve that liquid to make it worth while. (*I know, I drive a Jetta.)
Final score? Italy 2, Germany 1.
And, so, the Boot reigns supreme once again, and they’ll get another crack at the Spaniards. The Iberians struggled to draw in their first game of the tournament against Italy, and they looked less than perfect against Portugal. Well, let’s be honest: they weren’t as good as Portugal. They had one shot in regulation. One shot.
If it wasn’t for a poorly planned shootout lineup by Portuguese coach Paulo Bento, and a confusing mix-up and then miss by Bruno Alves, Portugal would be in this final. Of course, nothing has happened like it should in these semis, and it’s not Italy in an unlikely spot against a side they know very well.
You may remember, Italy was the only team to take Spain to the wire during their 2008 European Championship title run, and Spain was much, much better then, while Italy was much, much worse.
The biggest story today, though, is that Italy was able to neutralize the potent German attack. Not only that, but after they weathered the early storm with some razor-thin saves from goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, they fought right back and won a war after they were supposed to surrender.
(*Sounds like another German loss about, oh, 67 years ago.)
White Cover Staff
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