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Italy stops Germany run

Germany's splendid run came to an end this morning against a well-organised Italian team that I think in the end deserved to win in the way they took the game to the Germans especially in extra time. Just like against the Socceroos the Italian won the match in the dying minutes of the game only this time there was no controversy because both goals were excellent especially Fabio Grosso's one.

Following on from the last World Cup the hosts fell in the semis and ironically it was Germany who knocked out the hosts South Korea last time around and now they will have to fight for third place which is not bad for a team that was never expected to reach the semis and whose coach was dismissed as inexperienced. I donít know whether Germany was holding on for penalties in the latter stages of the game because had the match gone on to penalties I think Germany would have won it.

Italy now go to the final knowing that so far no opposition player has scored against them. Italy last conceded a goal that was an own goal by Cristian Zaccardo in the 27th minute against USA in their second group E match. That sounds like a long time ago now. Whoever they meet in the final must therefore be aware of this good defensive record.

I just want to mention the refereeing. This time I think the referee Benito Archundia was too lenient to both teams. A lot of fouls that would have earned a free kick at least or a yellow card at worst in previous rounds were waved play on. If you look at the fouls and yellow cards given to Tunisia in the Tunisia/Spain match and to Australia in the Australia/Brazil match, you can't just ignore the sense of injustice to both teams or maybe I am wrong in my assessment. Any thoughts?

Looking ahead to the other semi, I am still going for Portugal but it wont be easy and possibly depends on whether Zidane clicks again.

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