So much respect, Joachim Luw to Italy, that he did not hesitate to trace his approach. The German coach sat Julian Draxler, his best man in the eighth-round clash, to make an entrance to a zaguero, Benedikt Huwedes. On the field, this unexpected dance of pieces was translated into a 3-5-2, exactly the same scheme that has been practicing azzurra since the start of the tournament.
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With this variant, the Teuton preparer achieved what he surely intended: to generate a manifest superiority of troops in the area of three-quarters transalpine. In fact, during the first 45 minutes, the man in charge of connecting the munose with attack, the Italian Eder, was so surrounded by rivals that he could barely come into contact with the ball. If we add to this the absence of Daniele de Rossi, it can be understood why Italy could only spin one play in this time, an action that, yes, could well end in goal if Sturaro’s shot had not played in a defence (minute 42).
Nor is it that Germany made a greater return to the system change. He mastered possession clearly, but hardly generated danger. Without the imaginative Draxler on the field, everything was at the expense of some of the fogonazo of Ozil, but that of Arsenal was once again the vivid image of intermittency. Only in the end, when the break was sensed, the German painting generated some unease to Buffon, but neither Mario Gómez nor Muller finished to the goal with the necessary clarity (minutes 40 and 41).
Goals change the game
After the time was through the locker room, he came to feel that the match could change. It was just a mirage. The fear of error, of receiving a goal that changed everything, was stronger than the desire to win and that translated into a slow, heavy pace that was about to send more than one impartial spectator to bed early.
Fortunately for the show, Germany took advantage of its spherical dominance 20 minutes after the resumption. It was a strange move in which only Jonas Hector played his proper role, reaching almost baseline to put a center that sent midfielder Mesut Ozil to the bottom of the net. Previously, and outside the area, it had been the pure 9, Mario Gómez, who had maneuvered with skill to send the ball to the layman and give rise to the 1-0.
As expected, the shock changed with the cons of the cons. Italy had no choice but to step forward and that allowed the ball to suddenly circulate more smoothly and, above all, closer to the areas. In any case, if the tie came it was because Boateng made a lump error. To make it clear that he was not pushing his pair into the area, the zaguero jumped with his arms completely up and the ball, which passed through the area, hit them. A penalty as clear as a fool that he transformed Bonucci into 1-1 and which led the match to overtime.
If little had passed in 90 minutes of play, even less in the 30 prolongation that, in reality, only served to delay the ever-agonizing penalty shootout. In the duel between two of the best goalkeepers in the world, the figure of Manuel Neuer emerged, who stopped two of the nine penalties that he ended up throwing Italy. Hector did not miss the 18th shot and Germany, which was a little less afraid of losing, slipped into the semi-finals.
The drafting notes for players in Germany:
The drafting notes for players in Italy:
The man of the party – Manuel Neuer:
In a match in which football shone by his absence ended up being decisive the expertise of Manuel Neuer to stop two of the nine penalties kicked by Italy. The German goalkeeper, who had barely had work throughout the crash, was very focused and managed to deflect Bonucci and Darmian’s shots in the shootout.