Friday, June 30, 2006

Toni wakes up with Brace

Luca Toni finds the form that has deserted him during the early stages of the world cup and bags 2 goals against plucky Ukraine.

After scoring early it appeared that Italy would salt away the game with their usual stifling defense. Instead Ukraine showed some fighting spirit and made Buffon bring his A game. After two second half strikes from striker Toni, Italy are through to the semi finals, where they will meet archrival Germany.

Italy was the logical choice to get to the semis. The game versus Germany will pit two old enemies on the World Cup semi final stage. Italy will look to replicate what it did in 1982 when it defeated, then West Germany, 3-1 to win their last major tournament. A factor that will not be lost on this years version.

I keep wondering when Germany's run will end, and the home field advantage will not make up for a pourous defense. I thought it would be against Argentina (again I really believe had Messi been in the game for the Extra Time that Argentina would be through). But this might be the game. Italy has, as always a stout defense, something Germany traditionally had but not this version. And if Toni takes momentum from this game and carries it over, he will prove too much to handle for the German defense. I think the home crowd will once again push the Germans but this time their shining star will burn out.

Italy 3 - Germany 1.....

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