2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

9 June - 9 July

2006 FIFA World Cup™

'Both teams can be proud of their performances'

TSG analysis by Roy Hodgson (ENG)

It was an unbelievably intense game between two superbly organised teams. Italy had the better of the possession and let the ball do the work in midfield. They were exceptionally efficient and it was interesting watching them play. Germany kept it very tight at the back and always posed a threat with swift counterattacks.

The teams fundamentally neutralised each other in normal time, but it was end-to-end stuff in extra time, and both sides had decent openings. The fascinating part was waiting to see which of the teams would be first to convert a chance. Everyone had resigned themselves to penalties by the time the Italians conjured up a tremendous winner thanks to Fabio Grosso's superbly taken goal. Alessandro Del Piero's second with the last kick of the match was the icing on the Italian cake and sealed a place in the Final for the Azzurri.

Both teams can be justifiably proud of their performances tonight. Germany put up a great fight and although they have only third place to play for now, they can exit the tournament with their heads held high. At the end of the day, one moment of sublime inspiration settled the issue when Andrea Pirlo showed outstanding vision to set up the opener.

Pirlo was the pivotal figure in Italy's midfield and received the Budweiser Man of the Match award as a result. He went looking for the ball, he made plenty of passes, and was the driving force behind his team's triumph.