Italy and Spain played 120 minutes of defensive soccer both failing to score and going to the penalty shootout with a 0-0 score.

The two teams did not play the most inspired soccer although one could hardly describe the game as a boring one. The game was fast moving from side to side but quality chances were few since the two teams defended very well. Italy were especially defensive minded which meant that they mostly threatened the opposition via counterattacks. Spain had the most chances and if it was not for poor control inside the box, Spain could have scored a couple of goals in regulation time to win the game.

Before anyone noticed, the game had gone to extra time. Early in extra time, the two teams seemed to slow down the game. It could have been that the players were tired (a normal situation for any soccer game that needs to be played for more than 90 minutes) or that the teams decided that a penalty shootout was a fair way of declaring a winner. We know that if anything, penalty kicks would favor Italy who seem to have the most experience than any other team in international soccer.

The penalty shootout was exciting to say the least. Spain scored their first 3 kicks and Italy missed their second with a great save by Casillas. Buffon made things right again by saving Spain’s 4th penalty kick but Casillas said no to Di Natale and finally Fabregas scored on the 5th kick to give Spain a spot in the semi-finals and a date with Russia. The final score was 4-2 for Spain. The World Champions Italy are going home and Spain will be back in a few days with high hopes for a chance to play in the 2008 Euro final game.


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