Euro 2012 Semi-Final: Germany 1-2 Italy | inside World Soccer

Euro 2012 Semi-Final: Germany 1-2 Italy

[Saturday, June 30, 2012 ]

Mario Balotelli enjoyed an impressive evening in Warsaw, scoring two first-half goals to fire Italy to a 2-1 victory over Germany and into the final of Euro 2012.

Italian striker Mario Balotelli scores past German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer
Italian striker Mario Balotelli scores past German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

Photo: AP

The Azzurri broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when Balotelli rose above Holger Badstuber to head home Antonio Cassano's cross from close range.

Balotelli made it 2-0 16 minutes later as he latched onto Riccardo Montolivo's searching-ball and smashed an unstoppable finish high into the back of the net.

Germany were handed a late lifeline after Federico Balzaretti's handball was spotted in the box, giving Mesut Özil the chance to bury from the spot.

But there was to be no miracle for Joachim Löw's inexperienced team, whose 16-year wait for a major title continues.

Cesare Prandelli's men will now take on holders and world champions Spain in Kiev in Sunday's final.

Lineups:

Germany: Manuel Neuer; Jérôme Boateng (Thomas Müller, 71), Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira; Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski (Marco Reus, 46); Mario Gómez (Miroslav Klose, 46)

Italy: Gianluigi Buffon; Federico Balzaretti, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo (Thiago Motta, 63), Daniele De Rossi; Antonio Cassano (Alessandro Diamanti, 57), Mario Balotelli



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