Jun 27, 2013, 6:18 PM EDT
Italy put up a brave fight against the world number-one team, but Spain is through to the final after Leonardo Bonucci’s penalty miss allowed the favorites an opportunity.
An exciting yet goalless match saw Spain play bend but don’t break for most of the match, and their late charge in extra time wasn’t enough despite hitting the post a number of times.
Bonucci shot high and right after six scores for each side in the shootout, and Jesus Navas finished it off for Spain to book their ticket to the finals, where they will face the much more rested Brazil.
Keepers Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon weren’t even able to get a sniff of the ball during the shootout, with both driven and cheeky chip efforts finding their ways into the back of the net. Only Bonucci’s miss didn’t end up in goal.
Buffon kept Spain out but also looked shaky as he has the whole tournament, and it will leave Italy fans wondering how much the legendary keeper has left in the tank. He looked especially off-balance on a shot by Jesus Navas late in extra time that he dove awkwardly at and could only palm it into the post and out.
Italy also struggled to find the final touch without Mario Balotelli in the lineup, as the mercurial youngster missed out with a torn quad, having already returned to Italy.
Spain also struggled in front of goal early, finishing the first half with 68% of possession but only firing off two shots to Italy’s nine.
The host nation Brazil will now face their toughest test yet in Spain, with both teams struggling but winning in their semifinals. Brazil didn’t bring their A+ game to their match with Uruguay, but it was enough to win after Diego Forlan had a key penalty saved.
The final will be on Sunday at 5:00 PM on ESPN.
Italy will play Uruguay in the battle for third place on Sunday at 10 AM on ESPN.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:49 PM EDT
Unlucky for Maribor. Comfortable for Chelsea.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT
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Oct 21, 2014, 3:36 PM EDT
It’s an absolute shellacking going into half-time with Bayern giving a masterclass display in Roma.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
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Oct 21, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
Pellegrini defiant despite City blowing a 2-0 lead in Moscow.
Oct 21, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT
Missing Koscielny is a far bigger blow than having to start a 22-year-old, though.
Oct 21, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
City chuck away 2-0 lead in Russian capital, as UCL hopes hang in the balance.
Oct 21, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT
We’re going to have to have a talk about the presupposed power of the superior West at some point soon.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
City storming towards their first UCL win of the season in snowy Moscow.
Oct 21, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT
Is it enough to tip the scales for Liverpool, or will one of Real’s bevy of offensive stars step in to help stop the Reds’ European hopes?
Oct 21, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT
A final week La Liga match in 2011 has been under investigation for a while, and now former Real Zaragoza player Herrera is under scrutiny.
Oct 21, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT
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Oct 21, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT
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Oct 21, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT
Harold Mayne-Nicholls’ plan would be a boon for US television viewers, but would it sit well with the players?
Oct 21, 2014, 7:38 AM EDT
‘Twas an easy decision for the awards-givers this week, as Sergio Aguero struck not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
Paderborn hasn’t stopped winning or scoring insane goals, if you haven’t noticed.
Oct 20, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT
Actor Mark Consuelos made his way to the Crap Part of Soho while the Men In Blazers tried to keep the ball out of their own net.
Oct 20, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT
Bayern Munich have a very difficult match on the road in Italy, while other matchups in Spain, Russia, and Germany will all prove enjoyable.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:28 PM EDT
Meghan Klingenberg bagged a laser beam for her first US goal and Abby Wambach grabbed two as the Americans will move on to the semifinals.
Oct 20, 2014, 8:42 PM EDT
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