Match Number: 779 Date: 04 Jul 2006 Location: Dortmund Competition: World Cup 2006, Semifinals GERMANY: Lehmann A. Friedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm B. Schneider (83. Odonkor), Kehl, Ballack, Borowski (73. Schweinsteiger) Klose (111. Neuville), Podolski ITALY: Buffon Zambrotta, Materazzi, Cannavaro, Grosso Perrotta (104. Del Piero), Pirlo, Gattuso, Camoranesi (91. Iaquinta) Totti Toni (74. Gilardino) Attendance: 65,000 (sold out) Scoring: 0:1 Grosso (119.) 0:2 Del Piero (120.) Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico) Yellow cards: Borowski, Metzelder - CamoranesiAnother epic battle that could have gone either way. What was decisive is that although Germany had a slight edge throughout most of the match, they clearly decided to play for the penalties in the last few minutes of the overtime. No doubt they were confident on winning, since they pretty much always win penlaty kicks. The Italians probably realized that their fate was sealed unless they did something about it. They through everything forward in one last push - and were rewarded with the win.
The ban on Torsten Frings as fallout from the battle with Argentina was critical, as his replacement Sebastian Kehl was unequal to the task, offering neither the defensive toughness or attacking option that might have been decisive against the solid Italians.