Open Germany v Italy Thread

by Kieran Healy on July 4, 2006

Just drawing in toward half time. Good game so far. Germany look good. (The Referee has done very well, too.) I hope Germany edge it in regulation.

_Update_: 72nd minute. Very funny incident w/the Italian No. 16, who fell down writhing with the agonies unto death. The Ref ran back to him, clearly said something like “Get up you fucker or I’ll book you,” and the guy jumped up and ran off double-quick.

_Update_: Well, that was a dramatic last two minutes. Fair dues to the Italians.



alejo 07.04.06 at 2:53 pm

Another one going to extratime.
I honestly don’t think any one of this two can beat the other finalist( France or Portugal) ….
( rooting for Italy anyway )


tony 07.04.06 at 3:02 pm

Me too. Azzuri playing the better football.


Kieran Healy 07.04.06 at 3:13 pm

They’ve certainly begun to fall over at a faster rate than in the first half, when they were surprisingly restrained.


tony 07.04.06 at 3:21 pm

Does anyone else think Gianluigi Buffon is like a Commedia dell’arte character?


alejo 07.04.06 at 3:22 pm

I think somebody forgot his yellow cards at home.


Rob G 07.04.06 at 3:54 pm

Posted in the mixed metaphors thread as well – did anyone else hear Rodney Marsh, in the first half, say “It’s a chess game. It’s a chess game on a knife’s edge.”?


Filter 07.04.06 at 3:57 pm

Go Italy! We can still win.


soru 07.04.06 at 4:08 pm

I predict an Italy win, by penalty shootout. Lineker has to be wrong sometime.


Filter 07.04.06 at 4:27 pm



Filter 07.04.06 at 4:28 pm

:-) again.


Ray 07.04.06 at 4:29 pm



Rob G 07.04.06 at 4:30 pm

Before the quarters, on Charlie Rose, Tommy Smyth picked Portugal and France to go through. He also picked Italy to win the Cup.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


a 07.04.06 at 4:30 pm

Two of the most beautiful goals I’ve seen. Congratulations Italy!


Chris Waigl 07.04.06 at 4:33 pm

Hey, better to lose fairly after a great game than to win in another penalty shootout. And no shame to be kicked out in the semifinal.

Congrats, Italy. Though I’m back to supporting France now.


Doug 07.04.06 at 4:36 pm



Chris Bertram 07.04.06 at 4:50 pm

Italy played really beautiful football imho. Their accurate short passing was a joy. The Germans tried hard, but it would have been a travesty if they’d won it on penalties. Hard to see beyond Italy now.


DC 07.04.06 at 4:51 pm

What a superb game. What a finish. Also, what a Cannavaro.


Chris Bertram 07.04.06 at 4:52 pm

Oh and it isn’t often that I disagree with Kieran, but I really don’t think it fair to go on about the Italians diving in this one. Both teams played fairly and credit to the referee for letting the game flow.


Rob G 07.04.06 at 5:00 pm

Chris, the Italians deserved the win, but please…one of them actually seemed to transfer the fictitious pain in his head to a fictitious pain in his hand (hand to head, hand comes off head, hand shakes). The only Italian I trust for showing real pain is Gattuso.


snuh 07.04.06 at 5:15 pm

wow, that’s two games in a row now that italy have been deserved winners. who’d’ve thunk it.


Beryl 07.04.06 at 5:19 pm

Their accurate short passing was a joy.


They certainly kvetched more than the Germans but their football was far more entertaining. Especially in close quarters. They have great confidence in their ability to control the ball and, eventually, it paid off.


Dan Kervick 07.04.06 at 5:21 pm

That was a well-played and well-officiated game. Either team could have won, although Germany’s one touch, quick touch playmaking seemed to break down as the game progressed and their attempts came from further and further out. Italy couldn’t stay out of the offside trap for much of the game, but finally created some dangerous attempts late against the fatigued German defenders.

The flopping seemed about equal on both sides. Germany actually seemed to make a point of it in the opening few minutes. But the ref wasn’t buying – nice job.


almostinfamous 07.04.06 at 5:22 pm

that was a beautiful match!


novakant 07.04.06 at 5:23 pm

a travesty

oh go on


Rob 07.04.06 at 6:02 pm

If we’re going to have a go about diving, I thought Ballack’s elbow to the back of Jaquinta’s head whilst challenging in the air, followed by reeling away clutching his utterly untouched face, thus avoiding giving away a free kick on the edge of his area and a possible yellow or maybe even red card, early on in the second period of extra time was fairly special. That said, the best game for actual football I’ve seen all tournament: in a way, it was a pity it had to end. Both sides moved the ball about well and got men forward, there were a fair number of chances, and the two Italian goals were both bueatifully taken and constructed.


Dan Karreman 07.04.06 at 6:14 pm

A really good game that went great in extra-time. Kudos to Lippi for actually going for it – Italy had four (!) strikers on the pitch the last 10 minutes. Kudos to Germany for over-achieving, but Italy’s victory was well deserved.


Kent 07.05.06 at 12:24 am

I agree with Dan that the Italians–as much as I loathe their style of agony-at-every-touch and emphasis on defensive football–deserved this victory. I wouldn’t say that the Germans “over-achieved,” but the Italians clearly went after the victory in extra time. It almost seemed to me that the Germans wanted to go to penalty kicks. I think that Klinsmann was out-coached for this match.

By the way, I know that it was the other day, but I haven’t seen many comments on Rooney’s send off the other day. I don’t think that the referee saw the play at all, but he did see the reaction to C. Ronaldo. I was wondering…I haven’t seen anyone comment on the referees’ headsets. It would seem to me entirely plausible that a side referee or someone in the booth told the referee what Rooney had just done. The referee turned around to do something to Rooney and saw the push to C. Ronaldo. The push might well have been the last straw and he gave the little tank a red card. Thoughts?


mrjauk 07.05.06 at 12:38 am

Maybe Lippi had 4 strikers on the pitch at the end because he thought it was going to penalty kicks?


a 07.05.06 at 3:24 am

Will it be the story of the Three Bears? Germany too young, France too old, and Italy just right?


Isabel 07.05.06 at 8:01 am

Portugal being Goldilocks, I suppose?


Rob G 07.05.06 at 9:30 am

Kent, when I saw the replay of the Rooney incident, it looked like the ref was standing right next to the players. If he was convinced that Rooney stamped, it was a fair call. According to the BBC website (IIRC), the sending-off was strictly for the stamping, not for the push.

That said, I don’t agree with commenters here who said that Rooney is a thug. He’s a highly-talented kid with some growing up to do, in an environment that makes growing up difficult. Roy Keane – now there was a thug (albeit a very talented one).


Doug T 07.05.06 at 9:48 am

I disagree with those saying the Italian play was beautiful to watch. It seemed to me they spent most of the second half hunkered down playing rather boring defensive football, and only woke up and started really looking to go forward again when the OT came around.

Even in the first half, when they were playing a more balanced game, their attack was largely based on playing long balls and hoping to time a run just right, which led to one offsides call after another.

Italy may have been the better team (and they certainly were during the OT periods), but the German style is far more entertaining. That, combined with the drama queenery from the Italians, made me root for the Germans.

Side note on Italian diving: My wife came down to watch the overtime with me, the first minutes of soccer she’s seen in the WC. After watching for about 5 minutes, she commented: “It’s different than I expected…they fall down a lot. [pause] Well, at least the Italians do.”


Chris Bertram 07.05.06 at 10:22 am

Doug T. That’s just absurd, on all counts. Both Camoranesi and Materazzi just got to their feet promptly after pretty hefty challenges, and that was typical. A remarkable and refreshing contrast with some earlier Italian performances. I can only assume that our US-based commenters are seeing what they want to see after the unpleasantness of the USA-Italy game.


Beryl 07.05.06 at 10:47 am

It’s different than I expected…they fall down a lot.

No soccer mom, eh Doug? I played the game, myself, when I was young, and vicariously through my son. Both experiences taught me a healthy respect for the physicality of football/soccer. They players fall down because (in most cases) they are running at full tilt when contact is made. It is not a pleasant experience to be cut down from behind. (Though the “drama queenery” that sometimes ensues is rightfully scorned.)


Jake McGuire 07.05.06 at 11:38 am

I only watched from the last 10 minutes of the first half on, but I saw at least two instances where the Germans were incredibly, incredibly lucky to not be scored on. The Italians, as much as it pains me to say it, deserved to win.

And after more thought, it’s not the diving, per se, that is offensive. It’s illegal to trip someone, so if you feel a foot on your ankle, and are beat anyway, might as well fall down. It’s the feigning injury that bothers me, as this is taking advantage of people’s better nature, and turns all soccer fans into bitter cynics. When the Italian dude got a knee to the head (while diving!), my reaction was immediately and strongly “get up, you sissy, you’re fine.” Only after seeing the replay did I cringe and feel bad.

I think the NFL has some rule about injuries and timeouts, maybe only in the last two minutes of play, that could be useful. Perhaps if the doctors have to come on the field, the player should have to sit on the sidelines for a minute or two and his team should have to play shorthanded.


Doug T 07.05.06 at 12:16 pm

The Italians may have been better than they have been in the past, but they still spent plenty of time rolling around the pitch in faked agony. It was noticeable enough that I had the exact same reaction as Jake when one of the Italian players got a nasty boot to the head–I just assumed he was faking it and sneered at him until I saw the replay. (And I have no hard feelings from the US game. My hard feelings there were reserved for the referee and the thug who threw the elbow.)

Speaking of which, I give a lot of credit to the referee, who I thought had a fantastic game. He wasn’t taken in either by the occassional dive and the theatrics, nor by the frequent complaining for calls (which came more from the German side, backed by the crowd.)


novakant 07.05.06 at 2:33 pm

The Italians had a slight edge and weren’t play-acting as much as they usually do, the latter being partially due to the referee making it clear early on that he wasn’t having any of it.
If neither side can’t score a goal for 118 minutes, then both are doing something wrong and something right. And it was a terrific nailbiter.


Ray 07.05.06 at 4:34 pm

Jake, if the doctor comes on to the pitch, the player has to leave it, and he can’t come on again until he’s waved in by the ref. So yeah, the team is shorthanded.

Comments on this entry are closed.