Germany's World Cup dream over after Italy wins
5 July 2006, DORTMUND - Italian coach Marcello Lippi's gamble in extra time of Tuesday's World Cup semi-final against Germany paid off as his attacking side scored two late goals to advance to the final with a 2-0 victory. Lippi brought on Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alessandro Del Piero in extra time and had earlier brought on Alberto Gilardino to finish the game with four attacking players in an attempt to avoid a penalty shoot-out. "It was a very difficult match. We are very happy that we managed. It is like
5 July 2006
DORTMUND - Italian coach Marcello Lippi's gamble in extra time of Tuesday's World Cup semi-final against Germany paid off as his attacking side scored two late goals to advance to the final with a 2-0 victory.
Lippi brought on Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alessandro Del Piero in extra time and had earlier brought on Alberto Gilardino to finish the game with four attacking players in an attempt to avoid a penalty shoot-out.
"It was a very difficult match. We are very happy that we managed. It is like a dream. We simply had to win," he said.
"I think we dominated the game and in the end we were willing to risk something and that worked out for us. We are all very proud that we have achieved this."
Fabio Grosso opened the scoring in the 119th minute after the German defence failed to clear a corner and Andrea Pirlo pushed the ball through.
Del Piero added a second in injury time of extra time to put the victory beyond doubt.
The second finalist will be determined in the other semi-final on Wednesday in Munich between France and Portugal.
Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann said it was very difficult to express his feelings after the defeat. "It is a very tough pill to swallow to concede two goals in the last two minutes.
"It is very quiet in the dressing rooms even though the team can be very proud of what they achieved. The team tried hard and I think they made the whole country proud."
The first half was a very tactical affair as neither side wanted to risk too much going forward and as a result there were hardly any chances.
Italy came close to opening the score in the 16th minute when Francesco Totti sent through Simone Perotta, but the English-born midfielder pushed the ball forward too far and goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was quick off his line to thwart the danger.
The hosts, who were seeking a historic eighth final appearance concentrated their play on playing high balls into the area for the tournament's top scorer Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, but the Italian central defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Materazzi easily managed to deal with all the attacks.
Ten minutes from the break Germany had their best opportunity of the first half through Bernd Schneider after Pirlo had given the ball away. Klose unselfishly layed off to the right, but the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder ballooned his shot over the bar.
Klose came close five minutes after the restart when he beat Gennaro Gattuso and Cannavaro but Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon rushed off his line to prevent the Germans from going ahead.
As the match progressed the Italians started playing five or six players behind the ball and relying on counter-attacks, without really putting Germany under any pressure.
The game then went into extra time.
Italy came agonizingly close to scoring after just 39 seconds as Gilardino beat defender Christoph Metzelder and pushed the ball past Lehmann, but saw it bounce against the upright and roll across the goalmouth.
A minute later Gianluca Zambrota hit the crossbar with a long- range effort after a corner.
In the second half of extra time Germany looked the more eager side, but failed to break through the compact Italian defence and Italy snatched victory with two late goals.
German defender Philipp Lahm said that he thought they were as good as the Italians. "To go out so close to the end is bitter. Two very good teams were playing against each other, everyone could see that.
"Before the tournament it was maybe our goal to reach the semi- finals, but now there's nothing but disappointment that we're not in the final."
Head of the organising committee Franz Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup both as player and coach, said: "In the 120 minutes both teams were capable of winning it, but the Italians were more clever in the end.
"Lippi was an old fox and brought on two strikers in the end phase, and that was what was the decisive move.
"We had plenty of chances, too, to go into the lead - but there's no point in going on about that. The Italians are in the final, and I must stress that they deserve to be."
Klose praised the Italians after the defeat. "The game was even, both sides had chances. A compliment to the Italians. They caught us on the hop and got the goals."
Subject: German news