EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Warsaw National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland

Attendance: 58500

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Germany

  • Mesut Özil 90' +2' PEN

1 - 2

FT

Italy

  • Mario Balotelli 20'
  • Mario Balotelli 36'
Watch Live on: ESPN, ESPN3.com
  •  

    James Tyler: Magic stuff. Thanks again! Bye!

  •  

    James Tyler: Check out ESPNFC.com for all the analysis and previews leading up to Sunday's final. We'll be back in chat at 2.15pm ET on Sunday to guide you through Spain v. Italy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Enjoy your evenings, one and all. If you're German, go easy on the wheat beer. If you're Italian, crack open a keg of Peroni and imbibe!

  •  

    James Tyler: Alright, must dash to help with the postgame. Many thanks again for all the comments, insight, abuse, wit and entertainment in the comments. These chats would be lifeless without you all.

  •  

    James Tyler: Definitely, provided that you don't need to take on Italy along the way. They're your bogey team.

  •  

    [Comment from Sad german]
    Will we ever win one? Please give me hope espn crew...

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh, and Italy winning of course.

  •  

    James Tyler: Best part about today: no shootout.

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Rog - I had an Italy-Spain final in the MIB euro pool!

  •  

    [Comment from Dave]
    very stagnant offense from Germans. Italy let them in, but gave them no room to create. Same will happen for Spain

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed it did. Germany started brightly but didn't react quickly enough to Italy's goals.

  •  

    [Comment from james]
    the better team today won. simple as that.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pog, I hear your newborn crying. Should handle that!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: POG!

  •  

    James Tyler: No. Cards were wiped following the QFs. The yellows today don't accumulate.

  •  

    [Comment from logical observant]
    is anyone missing the final from italy due to yellows?

  •  

    James Tyler: Congratulate/Harass us on Twitter here:
    @JamesTylerESPN
    @rogbennett
    @jeffreycarlisle

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Have a good afternoon everyone from ESPN Stats and Information. Please follow us on Twitter @ESPNStatsInfo

  •  

    James Tyler: As usual our live chat will commence at 2:15 ET. Do join us for that!

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, then. Spain v. Italy in the Euro 2012 final. Sunday, 2:45 pm ET

  •  

    James Tyler: You're so welcome. As are all of you!

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    thank you Roger, James, and Jeff for getting me through my last 3 hours of work :-) much appreciated... also Statsie

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    Mario pumps his fist, glances skyward, continues to derive no joy from scoring goals. Jut another day's work.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nah. Plenty of life left in the Germans for years to come. But at some point, they need to win a trophy.

  •  

    [Comment from heyfan]
    JT, every year we hear about germany's young exciting squad... they keep getting older and less effective, no?

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    Fantastic gam

  •  

    [Comment from Will GFOP]
    Kitchen sink lads!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What a final we are going to have... one team trying to make history. the other team hoping to erase some of theirs...

  •  

    James Tyler: Let's all sing that White Stripes song!

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, then. The curse continues!

  •  

    James Tyler: FULL TIME: Germany 1, Italy 2.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Forza Azzurri!
    1970
    1982
    2006
    2012

  •  

    James Tyler: It's played short and as the cross is heaved into the box, the ref blows his whistle!

  •  

    James Tyler: Foul on Germany. One last attack. Free-kick on half-way!

  •  

    James Tyler: Ball's in the German half as the Azzurri play keep away.

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Pretty great header by Neuer there

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    Neuer ... I've never seen that before.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R.]
    Alex Ferguson looking around, slightly confused...

  •  

    James Tyler: LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT

  •  

    James Tyler: Hummels is whistled for a foul and he's furious. Barzagli nudged.

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy bunkered in! Neuer standing on halfway trying to keep the ball upfield!

  •  

    James Tyler: Sorry for all the missed comments, BTW. Please keep trying. It's a lot to handle game action and track the flurry of comments. There are quite a few piling up!

  •  

    James Tyler: Maybe, FCB.

  •  

    [Comment from FCB]
    Greatest comeback ever, if Germany gets another?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: There's no way... right?

  •  

    James Tyler: TWO MINUTES OF STOPPAGE TIME LEFT

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL! OZIL CONVERTS!

  •  

    [Comment from Dasein]
    Just to make it interesting.

  •  

    [Comment from Philly]
    Not over yet, folks!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Klose nudges Balzaretti, who then glances it off his forearm!

  •  

    James Tyler: Stephane Lannoy awards a spot-kick for handball!

  •  

    James Tyler: PENALTY FOR GERMANY!

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    I'd give the first star to Buffon. He made some great saves which otherwise would have made Balotelli's goals meaningless. Buffon won the game for Italy, IMO.

  •  

    James Tyler: Klose retrieves a long pass into the corner and works the ball back across field. Schweinsteiger's cross is nodded clear by Chiellini. Every Azzurri defender has been immense today.

  •  

    James Tyler: FOUR MINUTES OF ADDED TIME

  •  

    [Comment from Gudg]
    Not sure many people expected an all Group C final this year...

  •  

    [Comment from Sean]
    That changes on Sunday, Mr Bennett. I predict Spain 2, Italy 1.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! Hummels directs a close-range shot right at Buffon. Should have buried that. Scrambled out for another corner. Neuer races upfield to help out but Ozil volleys wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: As for all the "Is Low done as Germany coach?" questions, I'd have to say no. Unlike van Marwijk, Low actually has a squad worth building around.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Thiago Motta, ITA

  •  

    Roger Bennett: via Paul Carr... Spain has never officially beaten Italy in a major tournament. Italy has 3 wins, and they drew the 4 others.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice, Stuck at work.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy have 19 clearances from its own penalty area. Its previous high in the tournament was 11, against Spain.

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    Going the hockey route: 3rd star Pirlo, 2nd star Buffon, 1st star Super Mario

  •  

    [Comment from Philly]
    Spain-Italy will actually be pretty fascinating. Ramos-Balotelli, Pirlo-Busquets, etc.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, big time. Italy will be much more aggressive, as it has been today. Vicente Del Bosque should probably play a striker. #oldjoke

  •  

    [Comment from GBK]
    James, do you think the Spain-Italy game will be very different from the first matchup? It seemed like every team in the tournament was fairly conservative in the first game of the group play.

  •  

    James Tyler: THREE MINUTES LEFT.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another German cross ends up in Buffon's gloves. Germany with nothing left.

  •  

    James Tyler: We'll have live chat for Sunday's big final. Be sure to join us for that!

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo fouled inside the German half as Schweinsteiger tiredly tackles him.

  •  

    James Tyler: Incorrect, John! Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Italy has not shied away from any opponent at Euro 2012. Spain will be no different. Besides Portugal (and, I suppose, Croatia), Italy has been the only team to really ruffle Spain.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Well the Spain-Italy final promises to be the most boring 90 minutes that could have been possible on July 1st.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! Balzaretti with an instinctual slide to deny a shooting chance! German corner amounts to nothing.

  •  

    James Tyler: Buffon whiffs at a corner but Germany can't capitalize. Then Di Natale is flagged offside on the break upfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chiellini, Bonucci, Balzaretti all with confident headers.

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy patiently clearing a flurry of crosses.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy has 26 pass interceptions tonight, as many as they had against England in 120 minutes.

  •  

    James Tyler: EIGHT MINUTES LEFT. Lahm lofts a cross into Buffon's gloves.

  •  

    [Comment from Scott]
    Brain, am I in actual physical danger if I underestimate Balotelli?

  •  

    James Tyler: Balzaretti then sidefoots it past a floundering Neuer but he's offside. Goal disallowed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Di Natale onside with tons of time to shoot and he curls his effort into the side netting!

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    Start trademarking the phrase "Why Always Italy?" for t-shirts right now...

  •  

    [Comment from Brain]
    Underestimate Balotelli's talent and ability at your peril. He will be a top 5 footballer soon and will be for many years.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Fields of Athenry time for the Germans

  •  

    James Tyler: No-one mentioned the English until you did, Andrew.

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    Yes THIS is heroic not whatever England did on the pitch

  •  

    James Tyler: Diamanti shoots wide. Another lively cameo by him tonight.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Goppingen]
    I think Low misses Katie and Suri right now.

  •  

    [Comment from kembatime]
    Watching Pirlo makes you want to go play soccer.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think the cameras have been smashed, heyfan.

  •  

    [Comment from heyfan]
    shot of germany's fanzone please!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    What a year it has been for Balotelli as it turns out. Assisted on the Premier League-winning goal while sitting on his backside, now has two excellent goals that look likely to send his country to the Euro final.

  •  

    [Comment from Marin]
    Barzagli. Sounds like someone out of GodFather II.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! Ball drops for an unmarked Kroos at the top of the box but he can't keep his volley down. Shot sails into the stands.

  •  

    James Tyler: This is a heroic effort by the Azzurri. Taken their chances with ease, always been strong, handled Germany's plethora of skill with ease.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Italy! De Rossi's cross plucked out of the air by Neuer as Pirlo was there to tap it home.

  •  

    James Tyler: Quick Italian counter finds Diamanti in space on the right side of the box, but he slips a couple of times and the chance is gone.

  •  

    James Tyler: But the short free-kick is easily mopped up by the Azzurri.

  •  

    James Tyler: Klose is fouled in the Italian half by Barzagli.

  •  

    James Tyler: TWELVE-AND-A-BIT MINUTES LEFT

  •  

    [Comment from Zeus]
    This has to bode well for Italy's outlook for Brazil '14 with so many players being young, apart from Pirlo of course

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner's nodded over the bar by Mats Hummels. Shame.

  •  

    James Tyler: Mueller makes his first note on the game, earning a corner as his shot is blocked.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's all the B-names in the Azzurri backline. Balzaretti. Bonucci. Barzagli.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: You would think this Italian team had some kind of a domestic match fixing scandal they want us to forget or something. Rarely will you see them play with such motivation

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: The last time Germany scored twice in the last 15 minutes of a match? 2008 Semi vs Turkey (79', 90')

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    German defense is looking positively Dutch tonight

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Italy! Marchisio has time and room to shoot as his marker slips but he drags it wide. Could have even crossed it for an easy tap-in.

  •  

    James Tyler: FIFTEEN MINUTES REMAINING (in the German dream of a trophy)

  •  

    [Comment from Gayatri]
    Whole Germany team has been invisible! At least when it counts. Disappointing

  •  

    James Tyler: Khedira now working on the flank. Schweinsteiger booms a cross in but it's over everyone. Lahm's follow-up cross is headed away.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Attacking 3rd touches: GER 169; ITA 62

  •  

    James Tyler: Crowd's now singing "Seven Nation Army."

  •  

    [Comment from Eric W]
    SCHWEINSTEIGER HAS BEEN INVISIBLE

  •  

    James Tyler: No clue, John. Looked like Motta drew the charge from Kroos. #NBAreference

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    How was that a foul on Germany?

  •  

    James Tyler: Long ball by Schweinsteiger is cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's been influential at times but just cannot get free to work his major magic.

  •  

    [Comment from Bob P]
    What is (isn't) going on with Ozil? I haven't seen his name mentioned much tonight.

  •  

    [Comment from dean]
    germany needs the waterboy - "don't hold anything back" - dan fouts

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo almost plays Di Natale behind the back line but it's blocked. Referee calls a foul in Italy's favor as Kroos collides with Thiago Motta.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: 300 minutes without allowing a goal for Italy (2nd group match vs Croatia, 72')

  •  

    James Tyler: They kinda have to, Forza. But Italy looks composed enough.

  •  

    [Comment from Forza]
    Muller for Boateng. Might Germany go Ultra Attacking here?

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR GERMANY: Thomas Mueller on, Jerome Boateng off.

  •  

    James Tyler: Now, Germany trying to up the tempo a touch but Kroos' pass for Schweinsteiger is errant.

  •  

    [Comment from A]
    So as a West Ham fan, Diamanti being really good this tournament is doubly frustrating, 1 he was not good for us and 2 we didn't even get paid for him because Brescia are deadbeats.

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    apparently Germany cant get past a Juventus defense.

  •  

    James Tyler: TWENTY MINUTES LEFT

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ITALY: Balotelli off, Antonio Di Natale on. What a shift for Super Mario. He's a touch hobbled and now Prandelli has him available for the final should Italy hang on.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Pirlo is 13-for-14 passing this half. For the game he is 46-for-49.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike G]
    Pirlo is clearly the man. Will he play again in the next world cup?

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotell is down. Cramps.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Italy! Marchisio fizzes it wide after a fine pass slips him between the center backs! Should have scored, really.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    Italy looking like the more confident side out there

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    Rog, Diamanti looks like the steward in Game of Thrones. That's what's triggering your recog.

  •  

    James Tyler: Long ball over the top nearly finds Reus but he can't control the pass.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nah. I think Low is in it for the longest haul, defeat or otherwise.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    What about Low? If they lose here, is he out of a job?

  •  

    James Tyler: Diamanti hoofs it goalward from halfway as Germany lost possession but Neuer skips back and saves the shot. Was wide anyway.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I am worried for David Hasselhoff's dog right now

  •  

    James Tyler: Italian defense is bending, but yet to snap.

  •  

    James Tyler: 25 MINUTES LEFT.

  •  

    [Comment from Go Ger]
    So be honest - how many of you actually predicted the Azzurri to do this ?

  •  

    James Tyler: Motta is another tigerish tackler to roam the midfield and unsettle Ozil and Co. Prandelli likely saving his last sub for Balotelli. Though having him leading the line is still unsettling for Germany.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Buffon playing with the inspiration of a man who has been practicing his hi-def slo-mo close-up faces in the mirror

  •  

    [Comment from Forza]
    Buffon needs to adopt the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ITALY: Riccardo Montolivo off, Thiago Motta on. Time to lock it down, folks.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Is this an "I'm the best keeper in the world" game by Buffon?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Only four teams have scored 2+ goals against Italy in its EURO history - Netherlands (3, 2008 Group), France (2000 Final), Czech Republic (1996 Group), Soviet Union (1988 Semi).

  •  

    [Comment from Tanto Shablonski]
    GREAT SHOT, GREAT SAVE

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy has the only direct free kick goal at this tournament out of 71 goals.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Stunning.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner is flicked on but cleared. Just about.

  •  

    James Tyler: Marco Reus cracks it goalward, it's dipping under the bar but Buffon palms it over!

  •  

    James Tyler: WHAT A SAVE BY BUFFON!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Shot Stopper

  •  

    James Tyler: Kroos and Ozil over it. Others, too.

  •  

    [Comment from Alice]
    Diamanti looks like Jude Law

  •  

    [Comment from Go Ger]
    Diamanti kinda looks like Diego Forlan - don't you guys agree ?

  •  

    James Tyler: He upends Toni Kroos near the edge of the box after the midfielder had gone by. Poor decision. Can Germany capitalize from the set piece....?

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Leonardo Bonucci, ITA

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Goppingen]
    Diamanti looks like Sean Penn in Ridgemont High

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Italy! Balotelli gets it wide on the right, slips infield past Lahm and cuts it back onto his right foot for a shot, but it's wide of the far post. Nervous times for Germany there...

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Since the first Balotelli goal: 106-22 touches in attacking 3rd for Germany.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Diamanti is on to bolster the midfield. Plus Cassano looked tired.

  •  

    [Comment from Anthony]
    Cassano off already? Will Diamanti be able to create the space that Cassano was?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Who does Diamante look like? It is annoying me

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Casillas then Buffon then Hart who is still young. Buffon all charisma and shot-stoppy. plenty of heart in mouth. but he is the best to watch.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy has never scored three goals in a EURO match.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ITALY: Cassano off, Diamanti on.

  •  

    James Tyler: He is their superior. But not by much.

  •  

    [Comment from Go Ger]
    JT - where do you think Buffon stands amdist the likes of Casillas and Joe Hart ?

  •  

    [Comment from Stretch]
    Desperate defending by Italy.

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    Perfect challenge from Bonucci.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris H]
    Bonucci with a great tackle in the box

  •  

    James Tyler: Kroos' corner is cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! Lovely run by Klose into the box but a superb slide tackle from Bonucci to deny him a shot. Corner, Germany.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy has not allowed a goal in 280 minutes and counting...(2nd group match, Croatia 72')

  •  

    James Tyler: A palpable tempo change by Germany, and it appears they're attacking Chiellini at LB a lot. Smart move.

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    Sure the game is exciting, but I need to know if Rog ever recovered his luggage!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! A bombastic surge up the right side of the box by Ozil but his cut-back is not where Khedira can get a solid touch on it. Italy clears.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reus gets down the right but his cross is taken away from Klose.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: In Euros, Italy is 2-0-0 when up 2-plus goals at HT.

  •  

    James Tyler: German crowd is a bit lively now, too. Took them a while.

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    Gomez is like a better version of Luca Toni.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Verman. Gomez sits in the box and needs to be fed. Klose is comfortable on the ball and drops deep to interchange with the midfield. Goals are likely.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    khedira has impressed this tournament. As Schweini has dropped off, Sami has stepped up. Good pairing in the center of the park

  •  

    [Comment from Alan]
    The referee-ing is so much better than yesterday.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, I do. Klose is much more involved with his midfield. Gomez has a classic striker approach of "give me the ball where I want it and I will score."

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Statsie. What is Germany's won-loss record when Ozil wears the white hair tie instead of the black?

  •  

    [Comment from German Verman]
    Do you think Klose is just that much better of a fit than Gomez? They seem to play better with him on the field.

  •  

    James Tyler: Cassano's cross is almost met by De Rossi but desperate defending by Germany gets it clear.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another German attack is building but Schweinsteiger mis-controls a pass onto his hand. Free-kick, Italy.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris H]
    Prandelli looks nervous on the sideline

  •  

    James Tyler: Another good move by Khedira on the right flank but his pass infield is blocked. Still, throw-in for Germany deep in Azzurri territory.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sputnik said it, not me...

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Lahm doing his Ronaldo impersonation

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Gotta get your knee over the ball there Lahm...

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse]
    Lahm you gotta make that!!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Reus and Klose already having an impact.

  •  

    James Tyler: Very bright start to the second half by Die Mannschaft.

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE FOR GERMANY! Lovely passing on the edge of the box, Lahm drifts infield and has an open shot but chips it over the bar.

  •  

    [Comment from Not Paolo]
    Statsie, whats Italy's record being up 2-0 at the half in international games?

  •  

    [Comment from Steve]
    Reuss already more effective than Podolski in the first half

  •  

    James Tyler: Marchisio is down. Not entirely sure wh-OH WAIT he is acting a bit. Or he got elbowed in the face.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Only three teams have lost a semi after leading at half - Portugal (2000 vs France), Yugoslavia (1976 vs W. Germany) and France (1960 vs Yugoslavia)

  •  

    James Tyler: Good passing by the Germans. Boateng finds Reus inside the box, the wide man slipped past Bonucci and shoots but Buffon is equal to it. Good chance, that.

  •  

    [Comment from Sal]
    But Frank has such positional awareness at the carving station?

  •  

    James Tyler: Back underway and Germany just trying to get comfortable on the ball.

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Klose going to have to step up here. Ozil much prefers playing with him. Gomez about as mobile as Frank Lampard at the lunch buffer

  •  

    [Comment from Zeus]
    We've already seen Italy play very well against Spain, Germany would fare well also.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR GERMANY: Miroslav Klose on, Mario Gomez off.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    Hey it is Reus! Jorgi Low & I think alike. We're like lost brothers!

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR GERMANY: Marco Reus on, Podolski off.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, Bill. Portugal nearly did it. And they had Hugo Almeida.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Teams that have rallied from a 2-goal deficit to win: two - West Germany vs Yugoslavia (1976 Semi); Yugoslavia vs France (1960 Semi)

  •  

    [Comment from Bill Brasky]
    This game is playing out in interesting fashion, indeed. But the real question, can either beat Spain?

  •  

    James Tyler: That makes so little sense that it is brilliant. Well done, Pog.

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    If Italy wins, Pirlo is going to release an album of Serge Gainsbourg covers

  •  

    James Tyler: Give him 10-15 minutes. Balotelli is exhibiting restraint. If Italy is still up by 2 around the hour mark, I could see him getting pulled.

  •  

    [Comment from Rob]
    JT: You think Prandelli will sub out Balotelli at the half, to avoid a yellow?

  •  

    James Tyler: Only Germany lost the 1976 final on PKs, to the inaugural Panenka by Panenka himself.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany has comeback TWICE from a 2-goal deficit in EURO history, once in 1976 final to draw vs Czechoslovakia.  Once to WIN vs Yugoslavia in 1976 semi.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Dan. Low should bring in Sergio Aguero.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Does anyone remember the Prem Final? It's not over till its over

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, Go Ger. They have a chance until the referee whistles for full time. Nothing is a given here.

  •  

    [Comment from Go Ger]
    OK, I'll ask it - any chance at all for the Germans now ?

  •  

    James Tyler: *paging statsie for that one*

  •  

    [Comment from Bob P]
    When was the last time any team lost after having a 2 goal halftime lead in Euro?

  •  

    James Tyler: He's drunk on Pimms, Pog. You should see him. Covered in strawberries and mumbling in his sleep about Nadal... Nadal...

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    We should get Brian Phillips in here to provide Wimbledon updates during halftime.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Balotelli had a total of 17 touches, fewer than anyone on the field other than Gomez (13). Balotelli 2-2-2 (2 shots, 2 on target, 2 goals)

  •  

    [Comment from Anthony]
    What's next for Deutschland? / Who cares, the neighbors have not / shot fireworks yet

  •  

    James Tyler: No both because there can be no fence for this poll. You must pick!

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: It was a joke, Chris.

  •  

    [Comment from chris]
    It should be 0 writers since your not supposed to do that

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: There has been ONE hat trick in a semifinals match in EURO history, Dieter Muller (West Germany) vs Yugoslavia in 1976

  •  

    [Comment from Steve]
    the bad thing is Loew can only sub three

  •  

    [Comment from Ballack]
    The score would be in Germany's favor if I was still captain.

  •  

    James Tyler: (hits delete key)

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I got some goulash. Wondering how many journalists are going to have to re-write their Germany-Spain Final previews that they have already finished?

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Balotelli scores/Halting German possession/Now they are behind.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed, CB. And he's two-thirds of the way to a hat-trick.

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Balotelli is already halfway to a red card, JT.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Goppingen]
    you should order Gnocci.

  •  

    James Tyler: I wouldn't mind some Gotze time. Lars Bender could help steady the ship a touch.

  •  

    James Tyler: Who knows, Eric. Mueller, Klose top contenders.

  •  

    [Comment from Jordan]
    you guys know nothing about soccer stop thinking you guys have so much knowledge and just watch the game...you dont know whose gonna win one goal changes everything balotelli is having a good game thats what good soccer players have sometimes good games so stop talking and watch cause this game is going to be a wild second half

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy playing well from the midfield again: 144 of its 227 completed passes have originated from the middle 3rd of the field.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    What kind of subs can we expect from Germany

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I am ordering some borscht. Anyone want some?

  •  

    James Tyler: Hat-trick.

  •  

    [Comment from Rob]
    Hey JT: Which is more likely, a Balotelli hat trick, a Balotelli red card, or both?

  •  

    [Comment from M]
    I like to imagine that their locker room is outfitted with wall-to-wall mirrors.

  •  

    James Tyler: Read my article, Steve. I didn't blame Ronaldo at all. Just stunned he didn't get to kick. But thanks!

  •  

    [Comment from Steve]
    Hey JT...can you somehow blame the Germany performance on Ronaldo just to be consistent?

  •  

    James Tyler: There is now, Nordy. Aka whatever Balotelli does next.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mike. Germany are very much in this. They need to keep calm. Bring on Klose who is more tactically flexible that Gomez and can link with the midfield. They are far from done

  •  

    [Comment from Nordy]
    Is there a soccer equivalent to the Gordie Howe Hat Trick of Hockey (1G/1A/1 Fight)?

  •  

    [Comment from Forza]
    After all the garbage talked by German supporters, this is a very deserved scoreline.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think they look "OK" going forward. Need to really tighten up in midfield. Khedira and Schweinsteiger not getting it done. And Badstuber is having a nightmare. Not much Low can do about that.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Would love to be a fly on the wall in the Italian locker room. Frantic elbowing for mirror time

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Offensively, what does Germany have to do?

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice try with the transitive properties, Sputnik.

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Italy beats Germany, US beat Italy = US beats Germany?

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    GET YOUR POPCORN HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Philly]
    Rog said on his pod that it wouldn't be a Germany-Spain final!

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Roger - He's probably wishing he had Scotty Parker, James Milner, or Andy Carroll. You clown

  •  

    Roger Bennett: And again today Jeff. but he done good.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeff]
    Everyone laughed at me yesterday when I compared Balotelli to Ronaldo. Granted, I was joking at the time, but uh oh....

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What a half of football.... Balotelli scores with his head. His foot. Just needs a red card to complete his hattrick

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: That's it. Half time: GERMANY 0, ITALY 2. De facto pre-tournament champs struggling to handle the power and prowess of Mr. Mario Balotelli. Well, then.

  •  

    [Comment from richard rodriguez]
    soocer is the best sport in the world

  •  

    [Comment from Robbie]
    Someone has to do something other than Ozil and Boetang, the left side for Germany has been completely useless I feel

  •  

    [Comment from RaRa]
    I don't know about Jones/Danny Williams, but timmy chandler would be huge for them.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Germany. One minute of added time. And the cross doesn't clear the first defender. Poor delivery by Kroos.

  •  

    James Tyler: Michael: I'd say a 37.

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    scale of 1 - 10 how amazing is the the first 40 min?! i'm stuck at the office! i DVR'd it though

  •  

    [Comment from Nate]
    I'd love to be a fly in the wall in Germany's locker room at halftime.

  •  

    James Tyler: Probably, FG. *PAGING STATSIE*

  •  

    [Comment from FG]
    Has anyone ever gotten a hat trick and a red card in the same match in a major international tournament? I predict Mario to be the first...

  •  

    [Comment from Scott]
    Long way to go, but we may be watching The Balotelli Game, as they will refer to it in eons to come.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Real test for Jogi "the tactician" Low here. It will be interesting to see what changes he makes.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lahm and Podolski combine down the left but the cross is easily handled by Buffon.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How badly do you think Loew wishes he had Timmy Chandler, Danny Williams, Fabian Johnson, and Jermaine Jones on that German bench?

  •  

    James Tyler: So, two minutes to halftime. What a stunning turn of events. Two lovely goals by Balotelli, and a German side that hasn't looked this listless since Euro 2000.

  •  

    James Tyler: Cassano's fine to rejoin the game.

  •  

    [Comment from Rosemary Whisler]
    Super Mario! This is stunning - perfectly played by Italy so far.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Cesare Prandelli: "Keep your shirt on from now on, Mario"

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy NC]
    Does Mario get the first hat trick of the tourney? POLL!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Don't think Kroos' insertion is why the goals where given up. First was a great individual play by Cassano to feed Balotelli, and the second was a classic counter. If anything Low deserves blame for having Podolski back there to defend a possible counter.

  •  

    James Tyler: Cassano is down after encountering Badstuber and flipping over the top of the tackle.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sorry to be awol, I was waiting for Statsie to tell us how many times Balotelli has won us back after first doing something that was the straw that broke the camels back. He is a human phenomena

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Last player with a brace in a Euro semi: Denmark's Henrik Larsen ( vs NED) - 1992

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy attacking again. Just knocking it around inside the German half while the Azzurri fans are in full song.

  •  

    James Tyler: Too early to say, but his deployment of Kroos is not really doing anything.

  •  

    [Comment from James]
    One too many moves by Low?

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli is rampant.

  •  

    James Tyler: I could still be right in picking Germany winning 3-2. But it'll take something monumental to disrupt this flow of momentum.

  •  

    James Tyler: I am speechless. I think Rog is too. Rog? You OK? What's the mood in the press box?

  •  

    [Comment from Thomas Muller]
    Poldi bottles it yet again. PUT ME IN, COACH.

  •  

    [Comment from FZ]
    Balotelli is clearly enthusiastic about America's health care prospects

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: And what a ball from Montolivo. Perfect.

  •  

    [Comment from M]
    I'm pretty sure that this is going to be the exciting game we were all hoping for (all of us except the crying German woman they just showed on TV)

  •  

    James Tyler: Asap, I'd think. Needs to figure this out and quick.

  •  

    [Comment from Nordy]
    How early does Loew make changes?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Balotelli has 11 touches, 4 in the attacking 3rd, and 2 goals.

  •  

    [Comment from Sandy]
    It's either an alternate universe or a sign of the apocalypse.

  •  

    [Comment from daneconroy1]
    My prediction on Twitter was 2-1 Italy with Mario getting at least 1. Feeling pretty good right now...

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    I'm already developing my halftime haiku

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Looks like it was Lahm and Podolski left with marking Balotelli on that counter. No contest.

  •  

    James Tyler: He took his shirt off. He couldn't care less.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Mario Balotelli, ITA

  •  

    [Comment from Zeus]
    This is going to be an insane game with Germany having to go all out attack now

  •  

    [Comment from Will GFOP]
    What. Is. Happening.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    No message, just muscles

  •  

    James Tyler: IT IS THE SUPER MARIO SHOW

  •  

    [Comment from Taco]
    Oh boy

  •  

    James Tyler: Good lord. Amazing game.

  •  

    James Tyler: Badstuber at fault again, he loses Balotelli on the long ball, Mario is onside and he runs clear and thumps it past a helpless Neuer!

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: SUPERB COUNTERATTACK!

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL ITALY! SUPER MARIO AGAIN!!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: The Azzurri do just enough to defend the corner.

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    Khal Drogo with a laser.

  •  

    [Comment from dean]
    buffon is back

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Boateng is 2 for 4 on crosses today, 4 for 12 in the tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: What a save by Buffon! A long range howitzer by Khedira on the volley, it's heading for the top corner but Gigi parries it away! Another corner for Germany...

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Italy! Montolivo rebuffed inside the box with room to shoot.

  •  

    [Comment from Nordy]
    Boateng with a good cross?!

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner amounts to nothing as Podolski fouls Balotelli.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Corners: GER 4 - ITA 0

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! Good work by Ozil and Boateng down the right flank. Boateng skips past one challenge and plays a lovely cross to the back post, but it's blocked out for a corner just as Podolski prepared to volley it on goal!

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    Good call on the pic, Rog. I've seen full frontal nudity that was less off-putting.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes. I can do it with my eyes closed. But I digress... 33 minutes in and Germany looking to get right back in this game.

  •  

    [Comment from Barry]
    Seriously, you're telling me that Blaszczykowski is less difficult to type than the Greek 'Statho' guy you mentioned earlier?

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli does well to coax a foul from Badstuber in midfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: Our poll still showing a 2-to-1 advantage for Germany with regard to today's winner.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Touches in the attacking 3rd since the 20th minute (Balotelli goal): GER 33, ITA 2

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This is safe for work but should not be
    http://t.co/t0HY7z4I

  •  

    James Tyler: I don't, but I'll rig one now. Good thinking.

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    Just have a CONTROL + V set up for missed Kroos shots James.

  •  

    James Tyler: I thought Blaszczykowski's strike vs. Russia was decent enough.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    I'm still waiting for the Gio van Bronckhorst goal of this Euros. I think Schweinsteiger could hit one.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kroos shoots from distance but it's off target.

  •  

    [Comment from Alice]
    Nordy -- Yeah, Prandelli knows how to keep the team in balance. Hence the team reaction when he scored against IRE on that foul.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Gomez looks off today. Though he's always been clumsy. He's missing every ball that comes his way.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely passing move by Germany in the final third but Kroos' pass for Gomez in between the defenders is deflected away from him. Buffon collects.

  •  

    James Tyler: Big time, Nordy. Find Jeff's article on the final four managers. Prandelli isn't afraid to punish players for acting out.

  •  

    [Comment from Nordy]
    Credit the Italian coaching staff for getting his maturity in check?

  •  

    [Comment from Scott]
    Before Balotelli's goal: not so tense. Now: TENSE.

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli working hard to pressure Badstuber, and wins a throw-in for the Azzurri. He's been quiet and effective at the Euros thus far.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ozil with 17 attacking 3rd touches ... next closest player in the match has 9 (Cassano, Podolski)

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    Just saw the replay of Balotelli's goal, it's quite nice that he celebrated normally, no glaring, seemed actually excited.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! Gomez lays off a pass for Ozil at the top of the box, he takes a touch and shoots low but Buffon saves with ease! Should have done better. Ozil, I mean.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: That was a real chance for Ozil. Loew has suggested he should score more for this German team...

  •  

    James Tyler: He's got you there, Rog. The ENGLAND visualizations are only making things more miserable.

  •  

    [Comment from Jwalk]
    This is what happenes wen u pretend they are england....

  •  

    James Tyler: Boateng's cross misses Gomez completely.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jogi Low suddenly looked a bit rattled. Italy is tough when defending a lead. Germany must stay focused and play positively as it knows how to.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mario Gomez's hair is looking very Franz Ferdinand today. (I mean the band. Not the Kaiser.)

  •  

    [Comment from Rob (Chicago)]
    You LiveChat jinxed him Roger!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Turkey scored first against Germany in the 2008 semifinal in the 22nd minute. Germany went on to win 3-2.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I think Hummels just went down to world's number 4 center back after that play.

  •  

    [Comment from Merkel]
    You're killing me here, Statsie.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Teams that score first are 20-2-5 at EURO 2012

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Interesting to see how Germany will deal with being behind for the first time.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another Italy attack is halted when Marchisio hacks at Schweinsteiger.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany 3-7-5 all time in EURO history when allowing first goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: No way, you don't sit back against Germany.

  •  

    [Comment from Carson]
    Now Italy has to sit deep and defend for 70 mins and they're through. They don't need to play attractive football at all.

  •  

    James Tyler: Germany looking furious. Podolski's cross from the left is overhit.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: 21st headed goal of tournament, extends tournament record.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    No t-shirt reveal by Balotelli is the upset of the tournament.

  •  

    [Comment from Erik]
    Cassano has such great ballance.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Great work by Chiellini and in particular Cassano. Cassano spun Hummels pretty easily there. Easy put away for Balotelli who soared above Badstuber.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    PoznanPoznanPoznanPoznanPoznanPoznan

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany is trailing for the FIRST TIME at Euro 2012, in both the final tournament AND qualifying.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    FORZA FORZA FORZA!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Scott]
    It's getting INTERESTING.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, then.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    BEAUTIFUL FOOTBALL

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    Brilliant set up by Italy!

  •  

    James Tyler: A lovely bit of skill by Cassano to worm free between two defenders, and his cross finds Balotelli who powers his header past Neuer. Khedira whiffed on his tackle and Balotelli gets over Badstuber for the header!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy 11-1-4 all time in EURO history when scoring first.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Only Italy's second goal from open play. BUT WHAT A GOAL...

  •  

    James Tyler: TAKE THAT, MERKEL!

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR ITALY! SUPER MARIO BALOTELLI!

  •  

    [Comment from TX Gooner]
    shots on target making its triumphant return to the euros!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Germans started strongest, Italy still finding its sea legs. But getting there.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Sorry I'm a little late fellas. How's it looked so far, JT?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Italy! Cassano's curling effort from 25 yards is saved by Neuer!

  •  

    James Tyler: Montolivo's cross for Balotelli is cleared out for a throw-in.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I had forgotten Cassano and Montolivo were on the field prior to that sequence.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy have the lowest goals-allowed average all-time in EURO history among teams with multiple appearances.  They have allowed 20 goals in 31 matches, 0.6 goals per match allowed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Low shot by Montolivo is smartly stopped by Neue. Nice move by the Italian midfielder to create a bit of room between him and Schweinsteiger so he could shoot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Even so, Gudg, Hummels clearly belongs. He's clearly a key member and not just there to make up the numbers.

  •  

    [Comment from Gudg]
    I'm not denying Hummels is a great defender, but it does help to have an incredible team in front of you. Unlike, say Agger who is pure class with Poulsen helping out....

  •  

    [Comment from GBK]
    Roger, if I did that I'd have to root against the Germans.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: If you want enhance your viewing pleasure, you can make-believe the team in white are ENGLAND

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Shots GER 2 (2) - ITA 0 (0)

  •  

    James Tyler: He's got some jitters, sure, Jwalk, but give some dap to Germany for being so threatening in the early going.

  •  

    [Comment from Jwalk]
    Guys have you ever seen Buffon so shaky?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Lahm is excellent, John, but I like Coentrao of Portugal a bit better. He offers more going forward.

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli is fouled by Hummels. Italy free-kick, deep in German half. It's taken short.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: 1st foul on Hummels in the whole tournament

  •  

    [Comment from Steve]
    By halftime, the Germans will be Kroos-ing and the Italians will be Lahm-enting their first 45 minutes.

  •  

    [Comment from Sandy]
    My iPod just shuffled to The Scorpions "Winds Of Change". Germany needs this inspiration today.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Germany rampant. The world should prepare itself for a little Seven Nation Army action

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Germany well on top at the moment. Like the look of Kroos in the center so far.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    My buddy says Lahm is the best LB in the world, Jeff. Agree?

  •  

    James Tyler: All Germany at the minute.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Germany! Fizzing low cross from the right is juggled by Buffon, it pings off an Italian defender and behind for a corner! Moments later, Buffon parries well from Kroos' wicked shot.

  •  

    James Tyler: 12 minutes have whizzed by already. Still scoreless, but Pirlo's crucial stop from a corner could have changed that.

  •  

    James Tyler: If not already, he's on that cusp, CB, absolutely.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I once had a barber called Klaus Allofs

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Hummels: Top 3 CB in Europe?

  •  

    James Tyler: Khedira shoots from range but it's an easy stop by Buffon.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Among the four scoring leaders, Mario Gomez is the only one still playing. Last German player to lead the tournament outright was Klaus Allofs in 1980. Note - Gomez currently leads the Golden Boot race due to his 1 assist.

  •  

    [Comment from Gayatri]
    Alonso without a doubt. Makes we wanna grow a beard and I'm a gal

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely move by Ozil to shed De Rossi but his pass for Gomez is blocked and cleared.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hummels so strong there. Career defining tournament for him. Madrid beckon

  •  

    [Comment from TX Gooner]
    better beard: de rossi or xabi alonso?

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice backheel by De Rossi finds Pirlo in the middle. He jukes his opposite man and makes room to shoot but his effort is blocked.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany has only kept four clean sheets in its last 19 matches at the Euros.

  •  

    James Tyler: It does indeed look like Kroos is shadowing Pirlo a bit. England should have tried that a bit, probably.

  •  

    James Tyler: Foul on De Rossi just inside the German half, tripped by Podolski.

  •  

    [Comment from Sandy]
    He sells popcorn during half time, Jeff.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Hey it's nice to see teams successfully kick the ball down the pitch

  •  

    James Tyler: A glorious stop, too. Very classy adjustment on the line to prevent an early goal. Bravo, Pirlo.

  •  

    James Tyler: #InPirloWeTrust #PirloSaves

  •  

    [Comment from Stretch]
    Italy lucky there.

  •  

    [Comment from RPM]
    Kinesiotape. Helps muscles flex in the right directions and reduces likelihood of strains. Especially helpful for players like Buffon, who has chronic back muscular problems.

  •  

    James Tyler: Buffon snaffles the loose ball!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: About the only thing Pirlo doesn't do is sell popcorn.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! German corner is nodded goalward but Pirlo blocks it on the line!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany has scored at least one goal in each of its last 20 games

  •  

    James Tyler: Podolski gets crunched by Balzaretti (fair challenge) and is slow to get up. Wait, he's fine. Call off the paramedics.

  •  

    James Tyler: Dunno. Maybe they were just painting a room or two.

  •  

    [Comment from Jwalk]
    whats with the blue tape on some players

  •  

    James Tyler: First four minutes are like the first four minutes of any game: very tentative.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany has not trailed at ANY point throughout Qualifying and the EURO 2012 final tournament.  (14 matches)

  •  

    Roger Bennett: CP this italian team fatigues at 70 minutes even when fresh... Cassano and Pirlo in particular. It will be a factor

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd say it could be a factor, but the bigger advantage for the Germans is that they got a free advance screening of the new Spiderman movie in their team hotel the other night. Talk about energy boost.

  •  

    [Comment from CP]
    How big of an advantage do you think Germany has with 2 days extra rest?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Johannes... there are meant to be 15-20,000 Germans in the stadium tonight. last night there were max, 2,000 Spanish and Portu's combined.

  •  

    James Tyler: BUT I DIGRESS. Early spell of German possession in the left corner. Ozil and Kroos combine but the cross is too high for Gomez. Goal kick, Italia.

  •  

    James Tyler: Probably because more people could afford tickets to the game.

  •  

    [Comment from Its Johannes Today!]
    Is it just me or does that sound twice as loud as yesterday?

  •  

    [Comment from GBK]
    They really should have the Count from Sesame Street do the countdown

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: De Rossi does three pirouettes on the ball as if to say, "Take that sciatica!"

  •  

    James Tyler: Italians in blue shirts/white shorts. Germany in white shirts/black shorts.

  •  

    James Tyler: Thanks, MGoeller!

  •  

    [Comment from MGoeller]
    You guys always do a great job for those of us who cannot watch.. thanks in advance for your eforts

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse N]
    I just hope we get lots and lots and lots of Seven Nation Army tonight...said no one ever.

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off!

  •  

    James Tyler: 10... 9... other numbers...

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Jogi Low's shirt buttoned to half mast. Sleeves rolled up. Prandelli keeping his blazer on. Very funereal vibe to his wardrobe but still full of class.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Prepare to countdown... EURO's, Mission Control and Sesame Street. The three places were adults delight in counting down from 10

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: It smells like...victory.

  •  

    James Tyler: "Can you smell what the Euros are cooking" etc

  •  

    James Tyler: "Are you ready, European Championships???"

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    If tippen zapfen & tiki taka meet it will be like an electron around an atom, you know the ball is there somewhere but it is never still and you can't predict it's location at any specific instant in time, according to Einstein.

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh gosh, it's almost countdown time... let's all say it together...10... 9....8....7....6...

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    I got this one Jeff. Me.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I'll go for Ozil. I think his supporting cast is just a bit better.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Who makes more of an impact today, Jeff? Pirlo or Ozil?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany is 4-1-1 in EURO semifinals, advancing five of six times. Italy is 0-1-2 in EURO semifinals, advancing after both draws, including on a coin flip over Soviet Union in 1968.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lineups ONE MORE TIME:
    Italy (4-3-1-2): 1-Buffon; 6-Balzaretti, 19-Bonucci, 15-Barzagli, 3-Chiellini;
    16-De Rossi, 21-Pirlo, 8-Marchisio; 18-Montolivo; 9-Balotelli, 10-Cassano.

    Germany (4-2-3-1): 1-Neuer; 20-Boateng, 5-Hummels, 14-Badstuber, 16-Lahm; 6-Khedira, 7-Schweinsteiger; 18-Kroos, 8-Ozil, 10-Podolski; 23-Gomez.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: No. Too much at stake, even if you're name is Balotelli.

  •  

    [Comment from Gayatri]
    Ozil

  •  

    James Tyler: PIRLO

  •  

    [Comment from MGoeller]
    Jeff, do we see a red card today?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Who is cooler, Ozil or Pirlo?

  •  

    James Tyler: Maybe, Joanna. Or we might just fast forward to penalties.

  •  

    [Comment from Joanna]
    Will the stadium implode if tippen zapfen & tiki taka meet in the finals?

  •  

    James Tyler: Remember, folks: R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

  •  

    [Comment from Tripp]
    Gomez looks like Marty McFly from Back to the Future.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Jeff, I'm leaning more toward Michael Fassbender for Gomez

  •  

    [Comment from Bob]
    Cassano scores a brace 2-0 and completes the return from HEART SURGERY. Destiny?

  •  

    James Tyler: I loved Mario Gomez in "Passion of the Christ," Jeff.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Schweiny is starting to resemble Bill Maher, or is it just me?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I'm now convinced that Mario Gomez and Jim Caviezel are the same person.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    In the battle of tippen zapfen vs. Pirlo's brilliance the Germans pull out the win 3-1

  •  

    [Comment from Will GFOP]
    I feel a red card today....

  •  

    [Comment from Thomas Muller]
    0-0 until I come off the bench for that bottler Podolski, then Deutschland 4-0.

  •  

    James Tyler: Germany's anthem is rather grim.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Germany's anthem doesn't creep up on you, right?

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Buffon's belting it out. Let it fly, big man!

  •  

    James Tyler: Very specific there. What about the partridge in the pear tree, Tanto?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Italian National Anthem creeps up on you, right?

  •  

    [Comment from Tanto Shablonski]
    6-3 Germany. 3 Red Cards, 7 Yellows, 4 Flares

  •  

    [Comment from Elijah]
    Germany 3-0....Gomez with 2, Poldolski with one

  •  

    [Comment from Double H]
    Italy 2-1

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    I see a trend. Nil-Nil, PKs, Germany 4-2

  •  

    James Tyler: Mario Balotelli, half-asleep. He's that relaxed during the anthem.

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    Italy 2, Germany 1, My feather hair 5.

  •  

    [Comment from Rex]
    1-1 italy wins in pks

  •  

    [Comment from Justin]
    Balotelli goal and then German domination

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Germany 1-0. Italy does their best to smother the game.

  •  

    [Comment from Ashton]
    0-0, Germany 4-3 on penalties

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Fox]
    (ducks out to find his vuvuzela...)

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    Germany 3-0

  •  

    [Comment from Go Ger]
    so predictions guy !!! I say Germany 2-1 in regular time !!!

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm going 3-2 Germany. Goals goals goals goals just please let's not have another 120 minute scoreless run.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Germany 3 Italy 1

  •  

    [Comment from Chris H]
    Boateng and Balotelli having a chat about hairstyles in the tunnel

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Germany, 2-1.

  •  

    James Tyler: I reckon they're discussing the quality of the lunch buffet vol-au-vents, Rog.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Predictions?

  •  

    James Tyler: Need a place to watch or listen?
    ESPN on TV, WatchESPN.com for online video, ESPNRadio.com for, well, radio.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Platini and Blatter sitting together. Would love to hear that conversation

  •  

    James Tyler: The teams are in the tunnel. The noise is ratcheting up...

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I think Pearce did the right thing, although MLS fans will be forced to watch Beckham sticking his finger in referees' faces for the rest of the summer.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sorry, Jeff! Be sure to reenact an episode of Geordie Shore.

  •  

    James Tyler: Footy-wise, I could care less. Drama-wise, his omission just turned up the media noise 1000000%

  •  

    Roger Bennett: A taste of 2006 Italy and Germany. And a Pirlo assist to die for:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7_2qI-VQYM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Don't forget Newcastle James!

  •  

    [Comment from jay]
    Beckham snubbed on the Olympic squad, any thoughts?

  •  

    James Tyler: Jeff will be in Glasgow, too. And Manchester. And maybe even soaking up the industrial glamor of Coventry.

  •  

    [Comment from Marlon]
    I'm really surprised how many people went all out on Blaszykowski and didn't just call him "Kuba".

  •  

    James Tyler: And Jeff will be our man in London Town for the duration of the tournament.

  •  

    [Comment from Sandy]
    Easiest name to type TYTON

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I think the Olympic tournament is very underrated. Very fun tournament to cover in 2008.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tymoshchuk is a mess too. I'm almost certain I got that wrong, too.

  •  

    James Tyler: That's soooo easy, Fox.

  •  

    [Comment from Fox]
    Schweinsteiger?

  •  

    James Tyler: It *might* be because some big guns from South America will be in there... hard to say. Probably not though. But you'll get to see Ryan Giggs, so that's always fun.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: If I never have to type Jakub Blaszczykowski again, I'll be a happy man.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Dan. I always find "Joe Hart" almost impossible to get right

  •  

    [Comment from George Jettison]
    I'm new to European football. Can someone tell me if the Olympic soccer will be as exciting as Euro 2012?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mesut Ozil's hip hop video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmqp-52K3pg
    for real...

  •  

    James Tyler: it's that "statho" in the middle that is an absolute nightmare.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sokratis Papastathopoulos

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Okay, guys. Who's name has been the hardest to type quickly at Euro 2012?

  •  

    [Comment from Its Johannes Today!]
    Here's to thinking the goalless streak ends 5 minutes in.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ozil can sing, Iniesta has a harmonic. Pure skiffle magic.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I would give anything to hear Jobi Low say, "Ozil! Give me more cowbell!"

  •  

    James Tyler: Rog, I'd give Xavi a bass, Pirlo has to play lead guitar, Schweinie on the drums and Xabi Alonso on keyboards.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Carlisle. You win again

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I think Ozil would be on the cowbell myself.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: An example from yesterday, Ronaldo has kicked late in shootouts with Portugal. He converted the fifth and clinching try in the 2006 World Cup Quarterfinals against England and the fourth kick in the EURO 2004 Quarterfinals vs England. To be guaranteed a try, Ronaldo would have to scheduled no later than third, but remember that he theoretically could have stepped in to take one at any time, even to take the crucial fourth attempt.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Better question is -- if they were a band, who would play what? Pirlo clearly lead vocals. Alonso drums. Xavi keyboards. Ozil maracas?

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Ah, I see Fellaini to balance iniesta's lack of hair. Understandable

  •  

    James Tyler: Steve McManaman, Danny Murphy, Bobby Charlton, Darren Anderton

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Schweini or Alonso have to be in there to win the ball. I'll take Schweini. Rest, toss up, although I agree with JT, Pirlo is a must as well.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Xavi. Iniesta. Alonso. Fellaini

  •  

    [Comment from Marlon]
    Can ESPN stats give us some penalty info? My friends think I'm crazy for saying the best penalty takers should go 1st and 4th.

  •  

    James Tyler: Give me Schweini and Pirlo in the middle, Ozil wide right and Iniesta wide left. And now tell me I'm a fool, etc.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy was able to hold possession against England by dominating the midfield. Italy completed 801 passes against England, the second-best total of the tournament, and 464 of its pass completions originated from the middle 3rd of the field.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, aside from the fact that you'd have too many cooks in the kitchen...

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    Honest question, you have a midfield with the following players, and can only start 4 mids, who are you chosing. Ozil, Pirlo, Xavi, Inesta, Xabi Alonso, Schweini

  •  

    James Tyler: If it does go to penalties, my only request is that neither side tries a Panenka. Bit jaded now. Need a day off from it. Oh, and like yesterday, I'd like to see all four CBs taking kicks. Was fun to watch.

  •  

    [Comment from Sham]
    Statsie going strong right out of the gate. Can he keep it up?

  •  

    James Tyler: Big Giorgio. Would be fun to see if Prandelli nudges Balzaretti upfield at any point and runs a 3-5-2.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Pirlo had nearly 70 percent of his touches during the England game in the middle third of the field and 88 of his 118 completed passes originated from that area as well.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Chiellini playing at left back

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS:
    Italy (4-3-1-2): 1-Buffon; 6-Balzaretti, 19-Bonucci, 15-Barzagli, 3-Chiellini; 16-De Rossi, 21-Pirlo, 8-Marchisio; 18-Montolivo; 9-Balotelli, 10-Cassano.

    Germany (4-2-3-1): 1-Neuer; 20-Boateng, 5-Hummels, 14-Badstuber, 16-Lahm; 6-Khedira, 7-Schweinsteiger; 18-Kroos, 8-Ozil, 10-Podolski; 23-Gomez.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Schweinsteiger at EURO 2012
    69.3 pct of touches in attacking half (260 of 375)
    30.7 pct of touches in defensive half (115 of 375)

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, Sandy. Good point. Germany has lost thrive to the Azzurri in big World Cup games.

  •  

    [Comment from Bob]
    Rog picking Schweni over a 2012 older Pirlo is pure Galliani!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes. I am solely to blame for the stalemate we are about to witness. They should just go right to penalties...

  •  

    [Comment from Sandy]
    Personally, I'm hoping Germany can topple that beaten-up by Italy streak.

  •  

    James Tyler: You should see what Rog has planned for the final, then. 11 previews, one for each of La Roja's likely starters.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris H]
    So rog has successfully taken the Italian and German linchpins out of their respective midfields...bodes well for the entertainment factor of the match

  •  

    Roger Bennett: If it was 2005, Pirlo. If it is 2012, Schweini

  •  

    James Tyler: Give me Pirlo or give me death, CP. The world's aflood with robust defensive midfielders. But Pirlos are discovered once every generation.

  •  

    [Comment from CP]
    Would you rather have Pirlo or Schweini in your lineup?

  •  

    [Comment from TX Gooner]
    Kroos or Muller....I'm just happy that neither is james milner

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Claudio Ranieri is sitting in Italy somewhere muttering "*I* am the only Tinkerman."

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes Murf. My track record has not been good. Here's my profile/curse of Pirlo
    http://espnfc.com/us/en/news/1117183/bennettpeerless-pirlo-continues-produce.html
    Suavest man in football

  •  

    James Tyler: Because Jogi Low is a meddling manager.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    why didnt podolski play last game?

  •  

    [Comment from dean]
    and statsie breaks well from the gate

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Rog has officially trumped the Jeff Jinx from the 2010 World Cup.

  •  

    [Comment from Thomas Muller]
    IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME. Who wants to see crossing, passing, and tracking back from a winger, anyway?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy is unbeaten vs Germany at major tournaments (3-0-4).

    Italy leads the series 14-7-9.

    Germany's 14 losses to Italy are its second-most vs any country (15 to England).

    Germany .383 win pct vs Italy (counting ties as half a win) is its second-worst vs any country it has played at least five times. Germany only has a worse win pct vs Brazil (.310).

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    Rog, glad to see you did feature pieces on players from both teams, that way the Rog hex will be distributed equally. Your laptop keys are the kiss of death.

  •  

    [Comment from Marlon]
    Mesut Ozil would've been great in M, Jeff.

  •  

    James Tyler: Phil: ESPNRadio.com will have radio feed. WatchESPN.com has your video. ESPN has it on TV. We have chatty business here.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Quick pre-game plug for my Ozil piece
    http://espnfc.com/us/en/news/1116795/bennett-mesut-ozil.html
    watch him drop out of the game now...

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm going for Marty Feldman in the Ozil lookalike contest.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I'll go for Peter Lorre in the Ozil look-a-like contest.

  •  

    [Comment from phil]
    Espn.com offered radio coverage of yesterday's match. Why not today's?

  •  

    [Comment from TX Gooner]
    easy to fall for a ramos panenka when the goalie and everyone is guessing he is going 50th row like in champs league

  •  

    [Comment from Chris H]
    Can we please have a poll of whether Mesut reminds the readers more of a bug or an alien?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Excited for this one... feeling some goals in my bones

  •  

    James Tyler: Sing us a Ukrainian hymnal if you could. You know, to get us in the mood.

  •  

    James Tyler: Afternoon, Rog.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Marco Reus/Thomas Muller are the ones making way for Kroos.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT and Jeff and all Cover It Livers. Hello from Donetsk. Once a host city of Euro 2012, Now a ghost town where residents tell nostalgic stories of the "Summer of Price-Gouging"

  •  

    James Tyler: KROOS is filling in for MUELLER.

  •  

    James Tyler: This is internet wit from Cristiano. Nice work, there.

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    Refresh my memory, who's spot is Kroos taking in the line up?

  •  

    [Comment from Cristiano]
    I'm waiting to post a comment but I was told to wait until 1,456 go first. Then it'll be my turn.

  •  

    [Comment from Mario Balotelli]
    Every goal I score is a "firecracker".

  •  

    [Comment from alex]
    2 - 1 Italy with goals by Marchisio, Di Natale, and Kolse

  •  

    [Comment from Ben]
    A great day. No one can be denied MAGIC SPRAY because of pre-existing conditions!

  •  

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm guessing it's a picture of a unicorn, Murf.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Could be. We'll see if Ozil slides out wide.

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    Any thought's on what Balotelli's undershirt says? YC are wiped in the semi's, you know he's got something cooked up!

  •  

    James Tyler: Maybe, maybe not. You should know better than us!

  •  

    [Comment from Toni Kroos]
    Am i in the game to track Pirlo?

  •  

    James Tyler: Jogi Low = Das Tinkermann.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Ignazio Abate is the lone injury casualty.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm thrilled for you, Toni. Guessing you'll be busy on both sides of the ball. Nice to see you play in all three group games and finally get a start.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: It's been 240 minutes since a goal was scored at EURO 2012; that's the 2nd-longest drought in EURO history; longest is 262 minutes in 1996

  •  

    [Comment from Toni Kroos]
    Who is happy about me playing?

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    Sergio Ramos' penalty was so 72 hours ago.

  •  

    James Tyler: Statsie! Bring the stats today. The sweeeet, sweeet stats. (Drools like Homer Simpson)

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes! A good day for people-who-were-injured-but-aren't-anymore.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Afternoon everyone, Jason York here from ESPN Stats and Information!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: De Rossi too!

  •  

    James Tyler: Germany (4-2-3-1):
    1-Neuer;
    20-Boateng, 5-Hummels, 14-Badstuber, 16-Lahm;
    6-Khedira, 7-Schweinsteiger;
    18-Kroos, 8-Ozil, 10-Podolski;
    23-Gomez.

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy (4-3-1-2):
    1-Buffon;
    6-Balzaretti, 19-Bonucci, 15-Barzagli, 3-Chiellini;
    16-De Rossi, 21-Pirlo, 8-Marchisio;
    18-Montolivo;
    9-Balotelli, 10-Cassano.

  •  

    James Tyler: Let's give a look at lineups and we'll go from there. Big news is that Chiellini is back, Kroos is in, and Schweinie is healthy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ahoy, Jeff!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Greetings everyone! Germany, Italy, give me goals.

  •  

    James Tyler: Shootouts are so boring. No drama.

  •  

    James Tyler: Anyone see yesterday's semi? Bit rubbish, wasn't it?

  •  

    James Tyler: Live in the moment, Travis. Enjoy it and don't worry about what's next.

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Kinda sad that there's only one day left of Euros after today.

  •  

    James Tyler: Me too! Wait, what? Forget I said anything, Tim. Shh.

  •  

    [Comment from Tim]
    WOOHOO! another afternoon of doing nothing at work

  •  

    [Comment from Sounder til I die]
    I'm hoping Mr. Goal is on one of the rosters tonight

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Huzzah!! we"re back!

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    My hair will not be denied today.

  •  

    [Comment from Marlon]
    Happy Euros, James.

  •  

    James Tyler: So, anything much happening in the Euros these days?

  •  

    James Tyler: Happy Euros!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Germany

  • 15(8)

  • 21

  • 13

  • 54%

    46%

  • Italy

  • 10(5)

  • 19

  • 19

Match Stats

  • Germany
  • Italy
15(8) Shots (on goal) 10(5)
13 Fouls 19
14 Corner kicks 0
0 Offsides 2
54% Time of Possession 46%
1 Yellow Cards 4
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 6