The Germans entered this game seemingly assuming they would win. Their lineup was presumptuous, and didn't take into consideration what Italy might do to slow down their prolific offense.
I've heard some say that the German team played better for most of the game. I disagree. Italy's back 4 made tremendous efforts to break up German scoring chances. And keeper Gianluigi Buffon was brilliant. Meanwhile, Germany's defense wasn't even there. The Germans might have been better served to play with no defenders at all.
And starting Bastian Schweinsteiger was a mistake. He was clearly feeling the effects of injury and couldn't keep pace with either the Italians or his teammates.
Even offensively, the Germans looked disorderly and confused, which is unheard of for a German team.
Give credit to teams like Italy and Spain. They've got the right formula to win tournaments. Teams like Germany might dominate early stages, might score 3 or 4 goals per match, but you can't squeeze out close ones against tough opponents without defense.
This was only the second game of the tournament that Italy won in regulation. And they're in the Finals.
Spain vs. Italy in the Finals on Sunday. And I don't care who wins. I'm just a sad German-American today.
AFP Photo/Christof Stache