Euro 2012: Italy vs Germany - Highlights

Mario Balotelli scored twice as Italy beat Germany 2-1 on Thursday to advance to the Euro 2012 final against Spain. Here's the best of the action. All times are Polish.

Reported by: Associated Press
Last updated on Friday, 29 June, 2012 02:25 IST
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Warsaw: Mario Balotelli scored twice as Italy beat Germany 2-1 on Thursday to advance to the Euro 2012 final against Spain. Here's the best of the action. All times are Polish.
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2239: Germany goalkeeper Neuer twice advanced deep into Italy's half in a desperate attempt to save the match, but the Italians have done it. They've deserved it on the night. The Germans were uncharacteristically weak at the back — and Italy showed all its traditional qualities of defending tightly and being comfortable in possession. They could've scored even more. It's Italy vs. Spain now on Sunday for the Euro 2012 title. For Germany, the Italian jinx continues.
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Matchcentre

2238: FULL-TIME: Germany 1, Italy 2.
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2236: A handball in the area and Germany gets a last-gasp penalty, Ozil converting calmly. Surely they can't find another. Or can they?
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2235: GOAL! Germany 1, Italy 2 (Ozil, pen.)
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2233: It's not Germany's night. Hummels fires in a goal-bound shot from close range — but it's straight at Buffon. Four minutes of extra time.
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2226: Di Natale breaks the offside trap and has a great chance but fires into the side netting. Italy then has the ball in the net seconds later but Balzaretti is flagged offside before scoring. Germany looks finished here, leaving big gaps at the back.
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2220: Marchisio again wastes a chance to finish the match off. After some fine link-up play by Pirlo, he breaks into the box but instead of crossing to the unmarked Di Natale, Marchisio goes for goal and fires wide. Suffice to say his teammate isn't happy with that decision. Just over 10 minutes left here and Germany is on the brink of being eliminated.
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2216: Last throw of the dice by Loew: He takes off Boateng and replaces him with Mueller, an attacking midfielder.
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2214: Di Natale replaces Balotelli. So, no chance of a hat trick tonight — and you have to wonder if the manager has an eye on the final and fears Mario may do something rash here and earn a second yellow.
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2211: Marchisio just had an opportunity to put this game beyond doubt, but he blasts his shot wide of a relieved Neuer's goal. Just over 30 minutes to go here.
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2205: Germany so close to getting a goal back, but Reus' curling free kick is spectacularly tipped clear by Buffon, the ball clipping the bar on the way over.
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2203: Balotelli, on a hat trick, beats two players on the right edge of the box but blasts a powerful shot to the left of Buffon's goal.
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2200: A great sliding tackle from Bonucci stops Klose who was bursting into the box. There was no margin for error but his timing was perfect. For Italy, Diamanti, who scored the winning penalty against England, replaces Cassano.
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2157: The German fans are refusing to give in, singing, clapping and roaring on their team. And given their nation's record, who can blame them? There's a half-chance for Khedira but he finds himself suddenly surrounded by five Italian defenders who clear the danger. The German chanting's getting louder!
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2153: Lahm gets himself into a good position after a one-two on the edge of the area but fires well over the bar, prompting an anguished howl from Germany coach Joachim Loew — but at least the Germans are getting into goal-scoring chances. They're dominating possession now.
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2151: Reus immediately gets himself into the action but scuffs his shot weakly into Buffon's arms after breaking into the area.
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2150: The second half gets underway and Germany has made two changes up front, bringing on Klose for Gomez and Reus for Podolski.
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2139: Italy has never lost to Germany in seven meetings at major tournaments and the Azzurri are poised to extend their unbeaten streak. Balotelli scored a fine goal against Ireland in the group stage but was criticized for wasting numerous chances against Spain, Croatia and England. Today, though, he's the main man once more and Germany will need to claw a goal back as soon as possible in the second half or they're headed home.
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2133: HALF-TIME: Germany 0, Italy 2.
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2126: The Manchester City striker got a yellow card for his celebration. Knowing Balotelli, what are the odds that he'll get a second in this game and miss the final if Italy qualifies? It was high time the showman made an impact at this tournament.
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2124: What a finish by Balotelli! Running onto a through ball from Montolivo, he fires an absolutely unstoppable shot from the edge of the area into the top right-hand corner. He takes off his shirt, flexes muscles in celebration. The Germans are really up against it now. Can they find a way back into this game?
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2123: GOAL! Germany 0, Italy 2 (Balotelli).
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2122: A great effort fro moutside the box by Khedira who volleys a powerful shot on target but it's saved by Buffon.
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2120: Boateng breaks down the right wing for Germany and gets a cross over, but Podolski fails to connect with any power. The Italians then go up the other end and after a great touch by Cassano, Montolivo fails to take advantage and falls instead of shooting.
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2117: We've passed the 30-minute mark and the Italians are looking hard to break down. They're slowing the game down a little in midfield and the Germans are struggling to find the final ball. A big cheer for some skilful play by Pirlo who backheels the ball to escape the attention of his marker in the center circle.
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2114: Oezil tries his luck from outside the area but he'll have to connect better than that to trouble Buffon who easily collects.
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2107: It was coming! Cassano wriggles free from two defenders on the left and puts over a perfect cross for Balotelli to head in from close range.
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2106: GOAL! Germany 0, Italy 1 (Balotelli)

2104: Good effort from Montolivo from outside the box, but Neuer dives to his right and gets both hands on the shot. A minute later, Cassano tries an ambitious effort from a similar distance but that one is more comfortable for Neuer. The Italians are having a good spell here.
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2100: Two saves in as many minutes from Buffon to keep the Germans at bay. An uncharacteristic spill, though, from the Italian goalkeeper in the first attempt. But he got away with it.
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2057: It's been a good opening, with both teams going on the attack and some half chances in both goalmouths. Balotelli looking lively, but the question is whether he can be more accurate in front of goal compared to the game against England.
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2052: Great chance for Germany, but Hummels' header is cleared off the line by Pirlo, the ball bouncing straight back into a grateful Buffon's hands.
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2050: Some early encouragement for the Italians, with Balotelli close to getting on the end of a pass into the box from Montolivo.

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2045: Italy gets the match underway. Both teams in their "home" kit tonight, the Italians in blue and white, Germany in white and black. A big atmosphere building, with the Germans outnumbering their Italian opposition in the stands. A big Polish turnout, too.
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2030: Just 15 minutes until kickoff in the second semifinal of Euro 2012. For Italy, Giorgio Chiellini returns from injury at left back and Federico Balzaretti moves over to right back in place of Ignazio Abate, who exited the last match with a muscle problem in his left leg. For Germany, striker Mario Gomez reclaims his starting place.
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2030:

Germany (4-2-3-1)

Manuel Neuer; Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm (capt); Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos; Mario Gomez

Coach: Joachim Loew

Italy (4-3-1-2)

Gianluigi Buffon (capt); Federico Balzaretti, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Daniele De Rossi; Riccardo Montolivo; Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano

Coach: Cesare Prandelli

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (FRA)

Story first published on: Friday, 29 June 2012 00:11 IST

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  • Football
  • Germany
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  • Mario Balotelli
  • Alou Diarra
  • Lech Poznan
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