As predicted France controlled the game primarily because of their midfield players who dominated Italy and set key plays resulting in 8 more shots and 2 more shots on goal. They threatened Italy most of the time and looked so close to scoring another goal after Zidane’s 7th minute penalty kick. The most beautiful shot could have been Zidane’s header in the 104th minute launched with precision, grace and the ball flying perfectly just under the top bar only to see Golden Ball rival Buffon deflect the shot.
Defense paid off, it reminded be of the great offense vs. defense debate a few years back which ended when Oakland Raiders (offense) was defeated by Buccaneers (defense) in the Super Bowl of American Football.
Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon were excellent in defense from disrupting and stopping the attacks mounted by Zidane, Henry, Malouda and Ribery.
It’s just too bad to see Patrick Vieira go on the 58th minute on a hamstring injury which saw France finishing the overtime game without Thierry Henry and Ribery Frank who were substituted and Zinedine Zidane who got a red card on a head butt to Materazzi’s chest.
On the other hand, Buffon was a joy to watch on how he positioned and anticipated shots ensuring the game went into overtime.
Italy won on a score of 5 – 3 without needing France’s last penalty shot.
Yesterday I ran a poll on who will win the World Cup Finals and Italy also won that poll ahead of France. The result of the poll were:
[tags]FIFA World Cup, World Cup Germany, France, Italy[/tags]