Sunday, July 09, 2006

Final 1-1. Extra Time to be Played.

Second half is underway. 45 minutes from glory for one team. How likely is it that one newspaper will have the headline of "Les Bleus(or Il Azzurri) sings the Blues?"

Minute 46: Second half opens up with Henry bursting into the box and having his shot saved easily by Buffon.

Minute 48: Within 3 minutes of the second half we see again Zambrotta's total dominance over Malouda today. It's amazing to me that the French aren't counter attacking well off the Italians sending both their fullbacks up the field. ANother Corner for the Italians which they play short before sending it into the box but the header is deflected.

Minute 50: Henry beats three Italianas in the box but Zambrotta clears for a France corner. At least Henry is doing enough to get his name called. Nothing from Totti so far.

Minute 52: Henry gets the ball in acres of space in the box and instead of hiting it one time he dwells on the ball and Cannavaro steps in and clears. The French are really piling on the pressure here early in the second half.

Minute 53: Excellent counter attack from the French. For once they catch Grosso out of position and Ribery breaks and passes to Zidane who lays it off for Malouda but the young winger hesitates and Zambrotta dives in and clears. Zambrotta gets the better of him again.

Minute 55: Vieira goes down with what looks like a cramp or a strained hamstring. Vieira is subbed out and replaced by Alou Diarra. This is Diarra's first game in the World Cup since coming on as a sub against Togo. He's a quality young player but I'm not sure if he's ready for this stage. More importantaly Zidane loses his shield for the rest of the gam. Tme for Henry and Zidane to turn it up and carry the French team.

Minute 59: France is really dominating possession right now. How much more pressure can the Italians soak up? A long ball from Camoranesi finds no one. Again, Italy are you England in disguise? Why the long balls? knock it around a bit.

Minute 61: A great free kick to Toni who heads it in but he was well offsides before the ball was played. Scores are still level. Italians have made two substitutions bringing on Iaquinta and De Rossi for Perotta and Totti.

Minute 63: Henry breaks and is one on one with Cannavaro in the box. He beats Cannavaro but again Buffon is there to make the stop.

Minute 65: Cannavaro shows why he's been the best defender in the tournament taking the ball off Henry's foot then dribbling out the back before losing it.

Minute 70: Five minutes of nothing really. France is spending more time in the Italian half of the field. Ribery wins a free kick off Cannavaro. Buffon comes out to knock it away for a French throw in.

Minute 74: Cannavaro does a bicycle kick clearance. This man clearly deserves the Golden Ball.

Minute 75: Zidane lines up a free kick but sends it too long and it goes out for a goal kick for Italy.

Minute 77: Pirlo lines up a free kick from about 35 yards out. Dave Obrien says "he can be deadly with these." Well it looks like Pirlo hit it well but it was about a yard wide of the target.

Minute 82: France is getting nothing from Ribery and Malouda. Maybe the lights on the big stage are a little too bright for them. Zidane continues to be active in the middle of the field though and does not seem to be missing Vieira.

Minute 85: There's nothing from the Italians right now. France is keeping the ball in the ITalian half and there does not seem to be any outlets for the Italians.

Minute 86: Del Piero comes in for Camoranesi. The crowd is going wild for the introduction of the all time leading scorer for Juventus.

Minute 87: Claude Makelele takes a shot from outside the box but it goes well over the bar. That's pretty much like Ben Wallace taking a three pointer. Everyone knows it's gonna be off. The Italians are doing nothing like they were doing in the first half. They are creating absoolutely nothing going forward. It is all France right now.

Minute 90: Two minutes are added. Looks like we are going to to be playing 120 minutes today. Ribery is doing a lot of running looking to unlock the ITalian defense but the rest of the team looks tired. And there you have it. The Old Men of Europe are going to extra time. tied at 1-1.

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