Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"A highly charged match," says the commentator while the teams line up for the anthems.
The Italian players sing from the chest. Thousands of Germans answer with an overwhelming 'Deutschland uber alles'.
One of the German players is booked and suspended, after the penalties against Argentina. The rumor is the Italian mafia is involved, adding to the soccer-scandals in Italy. The temperature of the match peeks even before the kickoff.
"That's going to be the last piece of nice you going to see tonight," says the commentator while the players shake hands.

Germany kicks off, the battle between champions is on the way. Totti, for Italy, test the German keeper in the third minute. From thirty-five meters, he fires on target.
"A bullet," shouts the commentator. "But Lehman is right there,” he adds, while the German keeper deflects the ball to the grass, and bounces it in his hands.
Italy chases possession, even nearly stealing the ball from the German keeper.
Germany sharpen their performance and they push back. In the fourteenth minute, a few sharp passes brings the ball in the outer right corner of the Italian penalty box. A German striker takes one touch to send the ball low over the grass to a free space in the box. Free from defenders, and strikers.
Italy counters the same minute. An Italian striker runs after the ball deep into the German penalty box. Lehman, the German keeper, comes off his line and beats him to the ball. If only the Italian striker could stretches his leg a quarter of an inch longer.
The match is more organized. The steals on the midfield metamorphose to breathtaking and nail-biting attacks of both nations.
"This could be a difficult night for the German pope," says the commentator, adding drama.
I think the Vatican will forgive him.
Schneider, for Germany receives the ball in the thirty- fourth minute. He is free, twelve meters off target, and he fires.
"He puts it over the top," shouts the commentator, while not even the pope's prayers could give Germany a goal.

Germany pushes onwards in the second half. Klose, for Germany, dribbles the ball down the middle all the way to the Italian keeper. The Italian keeper comes off his line to save the Vatican's dream, while he curses his defenders.
Italy counters, but cannot stay onside. Fatigue sets in, and the nations loose their precision.
Germany seems to have the longer breath. In the sixty-second minute a German strikers places the ball through two defenders. His teammate turns, and fires. The Italian keeper blocks, and another German striker blasts the rebound over the crossbar. German fans turn their stomach while the Italian fans breathe some air.
"Germany pressures, but have few opportunities to score," says the commentator
Italy counters in the eighty fourth minute. Lehman, the German keeper, boxes the ball away, knocking out an Italian striker in the process.
Both powers cannot crack the defense and the game goes to overtime.
No side has enough stamina left to organize a successful assault. In the first fifteen minutes of overtime, Italy fires on the post, and in another action, blasts the ball over the crossbar.
In the second fifteen minutes, Germany fires onto the Italian keeper.
"Best goalkeeper of the world," shouts the commentator, while the goalie jumps and stumps the ball over the goal.
However, Italy kills the German dream, late into overtime. An Italian striker volleys the ball with his right foot into the left of the German goal.


Germany is baffled, the fans lost for words.
Italy thrives on the surprise and strikes again.


"That will do it," shouts the commentator while fireworks erupt in Rome.

Italy does it again, they steal a win in the end phase, suddenly crushing the German dream.
The pope is forgiven, Italy is the first finalist.