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German Dreams Died

German dreams of reaching the FIFA World Cup Final on home soil died in Dortmund as goals deep into extra time from Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero secured a 2-0 win for Italy.

Final – Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund Attendance: 65,000
Germany 0 – 2 Italy
  Fabio Grosso (119)
Alessandro Del Piero (120)
Game 61

FT: The most thrilling match of the World Cup finals so far is now over and Italy will go on to contest the final on Sunday after this truly remarkable 2-0 victory over Germany in Dortmund. Just when everyone thought a penalty shoot-out was on the cards, Grosso struck with a fabulous goal worthy of winning any game and then moments later Del Piero finished off the host nation once and for all with a lovely finish of his own. There will be no fairytale ending for Germany but they can be proud of themselves after playing such a magnificent part in not only this evening’s incredible match but also arguably the best World Cup of all time. Their fans have been excellent right the way through the tournament and now they hold back the tears and salute their brave heroes while waving their national flags with pride.

120+1 mins: GOAL DEL PIERO – A scintillating break away from the Italians leads to Del Piero being but clean through inside the area and the substitute curls a precise shot into the top corner to finish this semi-final in style.

120 mins: It was a truly wonderful goal to cap off this breathtaking semi-final but it has broken German hearts all over this host nation.

119 mins: GOAL GROSSO – After the corner is only cleared as far as Pirlo, the midfielder slides a pass sideways for Grosso, who curls an incredible shot from the edge of the area into the far corner, giving Lehmann no chance.

118 mins: Italy come forward again and Pirlo’s powerful effort from 25 yards is parried round the post by Lehmann.

117 mins: Penalties are drawing ever closer in this semi-final and you would have to expect the Germans to prevail once again.

116 mins: Odonkor edges forward through the middle before unleashing a fierce shot wide of the post.

115 mins: It’s unreal that this game remains goalless and for the past 115 minutes it’s been wave after wave of attack with no decisive finish.

114 mins: The initial cross is cleared away but the Azzurri aren’t finished yet and after Lehmann decides to go walkabouts, Del Piero drills a firm shot from the edge of the area wide of the post.

113 mins: From there, Germany come forward extremely quickly on the break but Podolski’s cracking drive from just inside the area is tipped over the bar in spectacular fashion by Buffon. The resulting corner is cleared away and now Italy can break. This is an enthralling contest now as the Azzurri win a corner.

112 mins: Del Piero has the ball at his feet inside the area but he takes too long to shoot and Lehmann can palm it away.

111 mins: Germany make their final change with Klose coming off for Oliver Neuville.

110 mins: After Odonkor’s cross on the right finds its way to Lahm just outside the area, the defender tries to curl his shot into the far corner but instead it drifts over the bar.

109 mins: The cross is floated into the area but Lehmann makes another comfortable catch and distributes the ball well to spark a German attack.

108 mins: Iaquinta tries to weave his way down the left but Odonkor tracks back to make a fine challenge which leads to an Italian corner.

107 mins: Germany are on the front foot immediately and win a corner down the right but it comes to nothing and Italy can mount a counter attack.

106 mins: Italy get the second period of extra-time underway.

ET HT: The referee blows his whistle and after that golden opportunity is wasted, both sides end the first period of extra-time level at 0-0.

105+1 mins: Once more Odonkor sprints down the right and this time his cross finds Podolski but the Polish-born striker plants his header wide.

105 mins: Odonkor bursts down the right wing but his cross is wayward and Italy can break back, but their pressure comes to nothing.

104 mins: The first period of extra-time is drawing to a close with Italy in possession, but after a long ball fails to find it’s target, Germany come forward on the break.

103 mins: Italy bring Alessandro Del Piero into the game to replace Perrotta.

102 mins: Ballack seems to make a mess of a defensive header but after an accidental collision with Iaquinta, the referee blows his whistle to stop play.

101 mins: Italy push forward but Pirlo’s ambitious drive from outside the area flies well over the bar.

100 mins: The players are unsurprisingly looking tired as this game wares on and a penalty shoot-out is looking a distinct possibility.

99 mins: Moments later Podolski is fouled on the left wing but Schweinsteiger’s delivery is poor and Italy clear the danger.

98 mins: Germany continue to knock the ball around in midfield with ease but struggle to get it forward for Podolski or Klose.

97 mins: After that frantic start to this extra-time period, the pace has died down somewhat and it’s all rather cagey now.

96 mins: Schweinsteiger’s cross into the area is blocked by the one-man wall behind for a corner, which is wasted and Italy survive.

95 mins: Germany win a free-kick down the left when Lahm is brought to ground by Zambrotta and this is promising.

94 mins: Italy are doing all the attacking now but after winning a corner down the right, Cannavaro’s header drifts wide.

93 mins: But moments later the Azzurri come even closer when Zambrotta’s belting drive from the edge of the area smashing against the crossbar.

92 mins: Within a minute of the restart, Gilardino cuts inside from the right side of the area and drills his shot from 6 yards past Lehmann but against the post. That was the closest we’ve come to a goal for sure.

91 mins: Germany get the first period of extra-time underway inside a nervous Westfalen Stadion in Dortmund. Italy make one change with Vincenzo Iaquinta coming on for Camoranesi.

FT: The full-time whistle sounds and we will have extra-time as Germany and Italy remain locked at 0-0 in this absorbing World Cup semi-final in Dortmund which neither side deserve to lose.

90+2 mins: Both sides are looking content to play for extra-time although Odonkor does whip a cross into the box which Italy are forced to deal with.

90+1 mins: The cross comes into the area but from Italy’s point of view it comes to no harm who are then able to regain possession.

90 mins: Germany win a dangerous free-kick on the left wing after another silly foul by Camoranesi. There will be three minutes of added on time.

89 mins: Camoranesi is shown the yellow card after a frustrated challenge on Kehl in midfield and now Germany can come forward.

88 mins: Neither side deserve to lose this tie at such a late stage and just when Italy thought they were in, Lahm gets back well to make an important tackle on the edge of his own area.

87 mins: Germany power through the middle but Schweinsteiger’s pass for Podolski is cut out by the impressive Materazzi who brings the ball away for Italy.

86 mins: Odonkor blasts out of the blocks down the right wing but his cross into the area is cleared away and with time ticking away, will anyone snatch the win at the death?

85 mins: Totti dinks a delicate pass into the area for Perrotta but Lehmann is alert and throws himself at the ball to make a valuable clearance.

84 mins: Extra-time now looks to be a nailed on certainty but it would be a huge shame if this goes all the way to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out.

83 mins: Germany makes a change with one of the fastest men in world football, David Odonkor, coming on for Schneider.

82 mins: Ballack takes a one step run up but blasts his rising effort way over the bar and into the stands behind.

81 mins: Germany are awarded a promising free-kick right on the edge of the area after Cannavaro’s foul on Podolski but replays clearly show this took place inside the box.

80 mins: Italy now break on the counter but Perrotta’s cross is poor and the hosts can regain both the ball and their composure as they launch a succession of cross field passes.

79 mins: Germany now advance down the left but when Ballack loses control of the ball, he fouls Gattuso and the danger is over.

78 mins: The blue shirts of Italy are enjoying a decent spell of possession at the moment but the most recent move ends in a long range effort from Pirlo which bounces into Lehmann’s arms.

77 mins: Italy win a corner down the left after another threatening attack but Totti’s delivery is well held by Lehmann.

76 mins: The Azzurri may well have come in for some criticism for their negative play earlier in the tournament but tonight they have been extremely entertaining to watch.

75 mins: Italy slowly edge forward with a patient build-up but just as Perrotta strikes one from distance, the offside flag is raised.

74 mins: Sure enough Gilardino comes on with Toni, who has given his all tonight, making way to the bench.

73 mins: It appears Italy are also preparing a change with Alberto Gilardino warming up on the touchline.

72 mins: Germany make their first substitution with Borowski coming on for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

71 mins: The game comes to a halt due to a brief drinks break which all the players richely deserve.

70 mins: The passing from both sides tonight has quite simply been outstanding but so have the defences in this classic match up.

69 mins: There just seems to be a lack of a killer touch in the forward positions and this is ultimately why neither side has broken the deadlock.

68 mins: Friedrich runs into the area as he tries to latch onto a pass but Italy defend well and still the game remains goalless.

67 mins: The home fans are still in full voice as they continue to urge their side on in this incredibly tight contest.

66 mins: Borowski raids down the left after Ballack’s pass but the eventual cross into the area, with Podolski waiting, is cleared away.

65 mins: Germany pass the ball around crisply in midfield but when Podolski looks like he may be able to break away, he loses his footing and Italy can now come forward.

64 mins: Pirlo breaks forward through the middle and has options both left and right but the Germans close down well and win back possession.

63 mins: Jurgen Klinsmann and Marcelo Lippi both look anxious figures on the touchline as this match remains delicately balanced.

62 mins: Germany are seemingly back in full flow but chances are at a premium when the likes of Cannavaro are in such good form.

61 mins: Podolski turns and shoots inside the area from a narrow angle but Buffon makes the save and Arne Friedrich slashes his follow up well over the bar.

60 mins: Germany are trying to build some pressure in forward positions but Italy are equal to everything and prevent any shots on goal.

59 mins: Italy look sharp in possession but Totti’s throughball for Toni runs through to Lehmann, which will be a relief to the home fans.

58 mins: As the game goes on you just sense a little bit of caution seeping into both sides’ mentality but don’t rule out a goal yet.

57 mins: Although both sides have attacking intentions, extra-time is beginning to look more and more inevitable.

56 mins: Christoph Metzelder is booked for a poor challenge on Toni in midfield but Italy waste the free-kick and Germany have possession once more.

55 mins: Borowski picks up the ball around 30 yards and sees no better option than to shoot…but his effort is sliced woefully wide.

54 mins: Totti floats the cross into the area but Lehmann leaps high to make a comfortable catch.

53 mins: Italy win a corner down the left after Perrotta works hard to chase a lost cause.

52 mins: It’s impossible to say where this one’s heading, with both sides taking it in turns to venture forward down the wings. It’s enthralling to watch, but just too difficult to predict.

51 mins: At the other end of the field a wonderful pass from Pirlo gives Grosso a one-on-one opportunity with Lehmann, but the offside flag is raised.

50 mins: Klose races away into the area after shaking off several defenders, but his shot from close range is smothered by Buffon.

49 mins: Germany advance down the left with Borowski but his cross towards Podolski drifts out of play.

48 mins: Both sides have started this second half as they ended the first but at the moment it’s the Germans who are looking more menacing.

47 mins: Germany start on the front foot and, after a neat build up, Kehl’s acrobatic attempt from the edge of the area is watched wide by Gianluigi Buffon.

46 mins: Italy get this intensely competitive match underway again but will they be able to shock the hosts and secure a place in the World Cup final on Sunday?

HT: The referee blows his whistle and the sides head into the break with the score still goalless but there has been no shortage of excitement in this semi-final. Both Italy and Germany have been at full throttle in search of the opening goal but so far neither have made the breakthrough and the longer this goes on, the more tense the night will become.

45 mins: There will be one minute of stoppage-time at the end of this pulsating half of football.

44 mins: Klose tries to work an opening 30 yards from goal but Gattuso is strong in the tackle and wins back possession.

43 mins: The hosts launch one last push for a goal before half-time but stubborn defending from Italy prevent that idea from working out.

42 mins: Germany now push forward but a couple of stray passes from Sebastian Kehl and Borowski loses the momentum.

41 mins: Italy win a free-kick on the right and Camoranesi flicks his header over the bar from Pirlo’s ball into the area.

40 mins: Despite some liberal refereeing throughout, the first yellow card of the evening is shown towards Borowski when he hacks down Totti in midfield.

39 mins: The German fans roar their side forward but despite a succession runs from Schneider and Lahm down both wings, the Italians hold out well.

38 mins: Pirlo floats the ball into the area but Germany defend well and Italy are unable to create a chance.

37 mins: Italy though fight back and have another corner when Mertesacker deflects Totti’s cross behind. Although this is wasted, shortly afterwards Ballack concedes a needless free-kick on the right wing and this could be promising.

36 mins: Germany are now well on top but this time Borowski’s dangerous cross into the area can’t be reached by Schneider.

35 mins: That was easily the best opportunity so far and the German fans must be gutted to see that one go begging.

34 mins: Germany come the closest to opening the scoring when Klose and Podolski combine to set up Schneider inside the area, but he blasts his effort over the bar.

33 mins: Moments later, with Germany struggling to see any of the ball, Italy win a third successive corner but this time Lehmann is able to make a commanding catch.

32 mins: Although Totti’s delivery into the box is cleared away, the Italians keep up the pressure and manage to win yet another corner…but this is also wasted.

31 mins: Fabio Grosso bursts down the left wing but his low cross into the area for Toni is put behind by Mertesacker for a corner.

30 mins: It’s a wonder why this game remains 0-0 with both sides really firing on all cylinders. It deserves a goal and we may just get one with Italy on the attack…

29 mins: The intelligent Pirlo gently rolls the ball into the area but Totti’s shot is blocked and the Germans survive.

28 mins: Italy are enjoying a long period of possession and win a dangerous free-kick on the right wing when Lahm brings down Camoranesi.

27 mins: Schneider charges forward to the edge of the area but his shot is blocked and he really should have done better.

26 mins: Italy are on the move through the middle with Camoranesi who clips a ball forward but Mertesacker controls it well before calming clearing.

25 mins: It’s all go here in Dortmund with neither side adhering to their historic stereotypes. There is so much desire on show as both sets of players continue to hold nothing back.

24 mins: Italy win a free-kick on the right side of midfield but Materazzi’s downward header from Pirlo’s delivery bounces over the bar.

23 mins: Totti tries to thread a clever through pass for Luca Toni but the German defence read the situation well and snuff out the threat.

22 mins: This semi-final is now being played at a frenetic pace and this time Gattuso bursts through the middle before tamely striking his shot wide of the post.

21 mins: Germany advance down the left with Klose who drills in a fierce cross which Podolski fires over the bar on the volley.

20 mins: Bernd Schneider lobs a long pass into the area for Podolski to chase but the outstanding Fabio Cannavaro is there to head the ball away.

19 mins: Both sides are making their intentions quite clear as they look eager to break the deadlock but so far there has only been one great chance.

18 mins: It’s now Germany’s turn to make forward running and they manage to win a corner when Tim Borowski’s shot is deflected wide…but it comes to nothing.

17 mins: The Italians keep attacking but the pressure ends when Totti’s long range shot hits a German player and loops up into Lehman’s arms.

16 mins: Almost immediately Italy come forward on the counter attack and out of the blue Perrotta is clean through on goal but his weak shot is saved by Lehmann.

15 mins: A long ball into the area is headed by Klose into the path of Podolski but Gianluca Zambrotta gets there first to clear.

14 mins: So far it’s been a slow start in terms of chances but both sides are certainly showing willingness to get forward.

13 mins: Germany probe forward through the middle but Podolski’s turn and shot from the edge of the area is blocked.

12 mins: Although Lehmann slips over when the resulting cross comes into the box, Germany are able to clear the danger.

11 mins: A lovely pass from Totti down the left wing sparks off an Italy attack but the low cross into the area is cleared away by Philip Lahm. But the Italians keep pressing and win a corner when Per Mertesacker puts the ball behind.

10 mins: Mauro Camoranesi tries to chip a pass into the path of Simone Perrotta but Lehmann comes out quickly to make the claim.

9 mins: Ballack attempts an audacious shot from 25 yards but he slices the ball well wide and over.

8 mins: The tournament’s leading scorer is back on his feet and will be OK to carry on as he seeks to add to his account.

7 mins: Germany are beginning to work their way into this clash slowly but Miroslav Klose has gone down clutching his leg after being fouled by Marco Materazzi.

6 mins: Michael Ballack skips round Andrea Pirlo in midfield but he’s subsequently chopped down by the Italian and Germany have a free-kick 30 yards from goal. However, they fail to make good use of it and Italy win back possession.

5 mins: The Germans are struggling to get the ball out of their own half at the moment as Italy dominate the early exchanges.

4 mins: Italy win a free-kick a long way out but Francesco Totti fancies his chances and smashes a powerful shot into the arms of Jens Lehmann.

3 mins: Gennaro Gattuso brings Lukas Podolski down with a vicious challenge in midfield but the referee keeps his cards in his pocket.

2 mins: History is on Italy’s side tonight having never lost a competitive fixture to the Germans but the host nation do have an incredible unbeaten record in Dortmund. The Italians come forward to a chorus of whistles from the German fans and in the end they’re caught offside.

1 mins: Germany get this World Cup semi-final underway inside a bouncing Westfalen Stadion in Dortmund. The atmosphere here tonight is absolutely fantastic and hopefully the German players can live up to the hype and fulfill the dreams of their nation. But nobody should underestimate the Azzurri – they have been slick and efficient all the way through this tournament and will take some beating tonight.

Pre-match: Germany boss Jurgen Klinsmann makes two changes to the team that beat Argentina on penalties for the World Cup semi-final showdown with Italy. Sebastien Kehl replaces suspended midfielder Torsten Frings, while Tim Borowski earns a place in the team with Bastian Schweinsteiger was dropping to the bench for tactical reasons. Italy coach Marcello Lippi keeps faith with all but one of the side that crushed Ukraine 3-0 in the previous round, the only change seeing Marco Materazzi returning from suspension to take his place at the heart of Italy’s defence. Luca Toni again operates as a lone striker, with playmaker Francesco Totti playing behind him in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Teams
Germany Italy
1 Jens Lehmann Gianluigi Buffon 1
3 Arne Friedrich Fabio Cannavaro 5
16 Philip Lahm Fabio Grosso 3
17 Per Mertesacker Marco Materazzi 23
21 Christoph Metzelder Gianluca Zambrotta 19
13 Michael Ballack Mauro German Camoranesi 16
18 Tim Borowski Gennaro Gattuso 8
5 Sebastian Kehl Simone Perrotta 20
19 Bernd Schneider Andrea Pirlo 21
11 Miroslav Klose Francesco Totti 10
20 Lukas Podolski Luca Toni 9
Substitutes
23 Timo Hildebrand Marco Amelia 14
12 Oliver Kahn Angelo Peruzzi 12
4 Robert Huth Andrea Barzagli 6
2 Marcell Jansen Alessandro Nesta 13
6 Jens Nowotny Massimo Oddo 22
15 Thomas Hitzlsperger Cristian Zaccardo 2
22 David Odonkor Simone Barone 17
7 Bastian Schweinsteiger Alessandro Del Piero 7
14 Gerald Asamoah Alberto Gilardino 11
9 Mike Hanke Vincenzo Iaquinta 15
10 Oliver Neuville Filippo Inzaghi 18
Substitutions
B Schweinsteiger for T Borowski (72) A Gilardino for L Toni (74)
D Odonkor for B Schneider (83) V Iaquinta for M Camoranesi (90)
O Neuville for M Klose (111) A Del Piero for S Perrotta (104)
Yellow Cards
Tim Borowski (40) Mauro German Camoranesi (90)
Christoph Metzelder (56)
Categories: Entertainment
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