Jun 27, 2013, 6:18 PM EST
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.
Nov 25, 2014, 11:15 PM EST
There were a lot of fouls in the first leg of Los Angeles and Seattle’s Western Conference final, and some were quite serious.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:45 PM EST
Like many fun to watch goals, the magic of the shooter is magnified by the mistakes of the defenders.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:00 PM EST
“I think they have to accept we were too strong for them,” added Mourinho.
Nov 25, 2014, 9:16 PM EST
We’ll be following who else comes calling for the Princeton man.
Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs thinks Chelsea’s the top dog, compares Louis van Gaal to Alex Ferguson
Nov 25, 2014, 8:05 PM EST
Giggs calls the Stamford Bridge club “head and shoulders above the Premier League” on the strength of their back four.
Nov 25, 2014, 7:13 PM EST
These will be hot in the summer. But are they hot now? What do you think?
Nov 25, 2014, 6:51 PM EST
Eleven players had their options declined on Tuesday, but Colorado says they could be back with the club in January.
Nov 25, 2014, 6:03 PM EST
Recapping all the action from around Europe after a pivotal matchday in UCL play.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:55 PM EST
Berahino scored in the next match after his arrest, but has since gone cold.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:32 PM EST
Rogers talked about how working with gay and lesbian youth organizations made him realize the impact he could make as an openly-gay player.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:22 PM EST
City’s late show sets up pulsating clash in the Italian capital next month.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:46 PM EST
Citizens grab last-gasp win to boost their chances of making the last 16.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:33 PM EST
Five different players netted as Chelsea picked up its largest road Champions League win since 1999.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
Suarez is off and running for Barca with a goal of exceptional class. What else did you expect?
Nov 25, 2014, 3:46 PM EST
The only other active players in the Top Ten are Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (44) and Thierry Henry (50), who obviously isn’t active with a UEFA Champions League club.
Nov 25, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
With top-quality players hardly ever available in January, the Portguese international could be a hot commodity in England.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:33 PM EST
A urinary infection has Pele in the hospital just 10 days after being released following surgery.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:55 PM EST
Follow the latest batch of UEFA Champions League matches, right here.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
To be completed in two phases,
Nov 25, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
“Air Marshall” not only earned his nickname, but helped to solidify an otherwise shaky back line.
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