Spain Books Its Place In UEFA -Euro 2012 Semi-finals
SPAIN READY TO FACE ITALY OR GERMANY
Spain are now only one match away from history after defeating Portugal, 4-2, in a penalty shootout Wednesday in the semifinals after 120 scoreless minutes. Cesc Fabregas converted the decisive spot-kick after Portugal's Bruno Alves hit the bar in the fourth round.
Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo did not take a kick in the penalty shoot out. If that wasn't bad enough, Ronaldo also missed a clear chance near the end of regular time. Had he converted it, Portugal might be playing in Sunday's final.Instead, Spain will be involved in a third straight major title Sunday in Kiev, where they will face either Germany or Italy who play today. They both go in these match undefeated. The two football clubs have found success, though, in two extremely different ways.
Germany won all three of their group matches, the only team in the tournament to do so. They topped Group B and then went on to beat Greece 4-2 in the quarter-finals. Four different players scored in the victory.Italy escaped Group C as the second seed, holding Spain to a 1-1 draw and then beating both Ireland and Croatia.In the quarter-final, they were held at bay by a ultra-defensive English side for 120 minutes, but in the end went through on penalties.
The Italians are known for their safety-first tactics, an approach that has worked in their favour so far as they have not let in more than a single goal in regulation since the group stage began. . On the reverse side, Italy has only scored four goals in total.Germany, meanwhile, have power, pace, organization and determination and, above all, work tirelessly and only once have they failed to record multiple goals in a match. Indeed, they display confidence in the way they play and they do have the hunger to win and these rules out Spain as clear favorites.
However, each team has its flaws, defensive wise; Germany has let in four goals compared to Italy’s two in the Euro competition. But while the Italians have the defensive edge, the Germans have the offensive edge as they are not afraid of moving forward in numbers.
Italy’s best bet to match an expected German onslaught is Mario Balotelli. Though he is always seen as a red card in waiting, this time round he has played well and has been a constant threat to defenses all through the Euro competition. If Italy can form an attacking system that replicates the effectiveness of their defense, then it is not beyond them to mount a real challenge for the European Championship…