World Cup 2006 - Germany v Italy

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10 on Germany.

I just want to see a France versus Germany final. The apparent love fest between these two countries will vanish with this match. Classic National Matchup IMHO.
You know, these teams are very similar. They both like to attack. The difference is that Italy likes to go in a defensive shell after striking first. That has not characterized this team's typical approach. If they follow history, the Germans will pound them mercilessly. If the Germans get up early, this could be a goal-fest since the Italian attack will leave their defense vulnerable to a strong German attack, which occassionally leaves it's defense undermanned.

Personally, I expect a match similar to the Argentina match with Germany controlling the ball more than the roughly 42% they did against Argentina. This should be an up and down affair with plenty of thrills. That said, it'll be the most boring match of the Cup, sigh.
Listen everybody, (ha, ha) tu mee...

I'm tellin' you (like you should listen to me :p) that Germany is a fake.

The Italians are gonna be the World Cup Champs.
I think the Italians are dirty. They're not embroiled in scandals because they're clean. No my friend, they're dirty and should be relegated to the gutters from whence they came.

You'll see the Germans prove you wrong when they replace the player goaded into a fight by Argentina with a bench player and move on as if nothing has changed. If you can't beat them on the pitch, start a fight afterwards. I would expect that kind of tactic from the Italians. Hell, I expect it on the field.
The Italians completely out played the lucky Germans. The best team won.

Where is my money? :D
Bones: you don't know soccer too well do you?
I am not too good at this betting. Maybe I am getting all my losing out of my sytstem before the football season.
Rupert said:
Bones: you don't know soccer too well do you?
Somebody sounds like a sore loser. ;)

The Italians outplayed Germany by a lot. Maybe you didn't watch the game -- dunno.
Actually not.

My comment on the game was going to be "Germany played poorly", but somehow, you come out with "Italy completely outplayed" them. Maybe you didn't watch the game. Italy played a decent game, but not a very good one by any stretch of the imagination.

Further, those Italians obviously want into the NBA with all the flopping they did. They seemed like gay prostitutes the way they went down every time a man came near them. It was the most pathetic display I've ever seen. So I don't know what you were watching, which is why I made that comment.

You claim the Germans were lucky to get by Argentina, but my brother had the game taped and I saw the alleged penalty in the box. Complete acting job on the Argentinian's part, which is why HE got the yellow card.

Then in yesterday's match the ref moves an obvious penalty kick out of the box late in the game so Germany can't do to Italy what you thought Argentina should have done to Germany. Sounds like a little double standard to me.

But hey! Like I said, Germany didn't play well, and didn't deserve to win. So congratulations to Italy.

BTW, the check's in the mail. :D
The German's got away witrh murder yesterday ... pushing people from behind mostly. I think it all evens out in the long run. The "flopping" seems to have taken soccer by storm recently and it's not just Italy that's using this tactic. How about the French? Those whinny bastards are becoming masters at crying. Yes, they may have been watching Valde in the NBA and have him on tape.

The German's game plan of the long passes (which IMO is the most boring form of soccer) didn't work well at all. The Italians on the other hand worked their magic with precise passing and they attcked German from the get go unlike the previous game when they fell back on defense. I think they realized that wouldn't work and it showed.

The two goals in OT were a thing of beauty. The German goalie is damn good but it was nice to see him get beat it in the end. The drop/cross pass for the second goal was just simply pure magic.
WHAT! Okay, you definitely weren't watching the same game. The Germans were doing nothing out of the ordinary for soccer. I think the true issue was the Germans NOT acting like every breeze was a foul. At one point Ballack had to slam his elbow into one of the Italians after he tried to dislodge Ballack's ear after Ballack helped him up when they bumped into each other going for the ball (no foul on anyone). The Italians were dirty players and poor sports, period. But that's what I said going in, and they proved me right in every way.

The reason the German's fast-break style of soccer didn't work was the Italians kept getting the ref's attention by flopping and stopping play. By the time the ball was re-started, the defense was set.

I agreee that long-ball soccer is typically boring because most teams that use it have no skill and are trying to run their opponents to death (read that MLS soccer). The Germans proved that with skilled players running it, it is exciting and effective, unless the ref allows play to be stopped too often when it shouldn't be, which this ref allowed the Italians to do.

Only one of the goals in OT was magic, and that was the 1st one. The final goal was the result of the Germans overcomitting to the attack. And then Italy did exactly what you claim is the most boring form of soccer to score a 2nd goal.

Like I said, the Germans usually are very precise passers, and they were passing poorly without any pressure from the Italians, which is why I say it was the Germans playing poorly as opposed to the Italians countering them. The Italians didn't play a spectacular game by any stretch of the imagination, and the Germans were able to counter their "precise passing" until the 29th minute of overtime, so that says a lot about how well the German defense played and how ineffective the Italian offense was. It's either one or the other, or some of both. And since I've seen both teams play several times, it was the Germans defense countering the Italian offense. Italy was more effective against previous opponents than they were against the Germans, and the Germans forced the ineffectiveness (as you can tell by the number of mistakes made with a man on or without). So Italy was playing as well as they usually did except for the German intervention.

Brazil lost to France for the same reason the Germans lost to Italy, they played a poor game. At this level of competition, it's going to hurt you. The Germans gave the Italians too many corner kicks and that eventually won it for Italy.

So, the only thing the Italians did really well yesterday was stop play and prevent the Germans from forcing the Italians to run all game. And if that's the game plan against you, you need to be able to counter it. The Germans had done it before against lesser opponents. So it's not necessarily back to the drawing board.
I'm kind of fearful of the game between the French and the Portugese since both were looking to draw as many fouls as they could all game during their quarterfinal matches (the sign of an underdog trying to disrupt a superior opponent - hint hint). Since they both advanced against superior opponents, it's no surprise the Italians used this tactic against Germany, especially since the entire Cup has been characterized by over-officiating.

I think the ref in the match between Germany and Italy was appropriately restrained in handing out cards, but not in how often he stopped play. One of my brother's friends had to leave the room because he was so disgusted with the Italians and how often they faked getting fouled. Of course, he didn't always know what he was disgusted at. He even complained on some of the tackles from behind, which should nearly always be called. He just wanted to see smooth play without all the stops.

Still, I didn't think going in that the Italians were that much of an underdog, but their style of play proved that they thought they were. And the results of this semi and the two games that gave us today's semi-finalists prove that faking fouls can turn the tide of the game when the ref's are tasked with controlling play as much as they have been.

It's one of those soccer conundrums. If you don't control the physical play someone could get injured. If the ref's don't show a quick trigger, one of the star players could be intentionally injured. And at that point, a red card is little consolation to the team who lost their star. But if the ref's have a quick trigger, players will get run from the game because other players are acting.

That's why I liked that Argentinian getting carded for diving when so many people thought it was a foul on the German. The ref (and replays showed it) clearly saw the German hadn't initiated enough contact to cause the player to fall as dramatically as he did. But cards for faking fouls have been very few, and cards for marginals fouls have been numerous. So it's really no surprise to see that tactic used, but it definitely bad for the sport. And if they haven't changed their methods by the next Cup, we could see the same tactic used to handcuff the better teams, again.
Rupert said:
WHAT! Okay, you definitely weren't watching the same game. The Germans were doing nothing out of the ordinary for soccer.
That is complete BS. I watched the game (all of it). I guess you saw only what you wanted. The Germans were pushing from behind the entire game and even had more fouls than Italy in spite of the fact they weren't called for flagrant fouls like I stated above.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
Yeah, we'll have to agree to disagree because it's not BS. What the Germans did was nothing out of the ordinary for soccer, and definitely could not be classified as excessively physical or dirty.

The Germans had more fouls called against them because the Italians were faking a lot of them and getting the calls. So the numbers prove nothing.

I have no agenda in my analysis. I'm not sure what you call pushing from behind, since I don't know what you know about soccer. But there was nothing, I repeat, nothing the Germans did that could either be classified as dirty or excessively physical in the game yesterday, nothing.
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