Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2016 Contents A34
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RIO DE JANEIRO---Joao
Havelange, the Brazilian who
ran Fifa for two decades, is
being treated for pneumonia
in a Rio de Janeiro hospital.
The Samaritano Hospital said
the 100-year-old Havelange is
in a stable condition. It did not
Havelange presided over Fifa
from 1974 until 1998, and was
credited by many for expanding
football into a truly global game.
He was also a longtime
member of the International
Olympic Committee until
resigning in December 2011
amid allegations he took kick-
backs from a Fifa marketing
Former Fifa president hospitalised in Brazil
ended 54 years of hurt against Italy
in major tournaments, winning a
wild penalty shootout 6-5 to reach
the semifinals of the European
Jonas Hector scored the winning
penalty in the quarterfinal match in
Bordeaux with the 18th kick of the
shootout, slotting beyond Gianluigi
Buffon and putting Germany in the
last four of a sixth straight tourna-
"I took my heart in my hand," said
Hector, Germany s left back, "and
just wanted to make sure it went
in."A cagey, tactical match between
two of the continent s heavyweights
finished 1-1 after extra time, with
Leonardo Bonucci s 78th-minute
penalty for Italy canceling out a
65th-minute strike by Mesut Ozil.
Bonucci was one of seven players
to fail to score in the shootout---Ger-
many captain Bastian Schweinsteiger
blazed over when he could have
sealed victory with the score at 2-
2. But Hector made no mistake after
Manuel Neuer s save from Matteo
Darmian gave Germany another
"I ve never experienced a penalty
shootout like it before," Neuer said.
It was Germany s sixth straight
victory in a penalty shootout since
losing the final of Euro 1976 to
Czechoslovakia, and its first com-
petitive win over Italy in nine tries.
That included the 1982 World Cup
final and three major tournament
The so-called Italian curse is no
more for the Germans, who are seek-
ing to follow up their World Cup
title from two years ago.
They will next play either France
or Iceland in Marseille on Thursday.
Defeat ended Antonio Conte s
two-year tenure with Italy and he
heads to Chelsea in the English Pre-
mier League with a strong reputation
after masterminding wins over highly
fancied Belgium and Spain at Euro
"The only regret I have from this
European Championship is these
penalties," Conte said. "Nothing else;
no regrets. These lads really showed
One of his last acts as Italy coach
was to embrace Darmian, who col-
lapsed to the ground in despair after
Hector s winning kick. The 38-year-
old Buffon appeared to have tears in
his eyes as he walked off the field.
It was a fixture worthy of the final
itself---Italy and Germany are
Europe s most successful football
nations with eight World Cup titles
between them---but the game didn t
live up to its promise.
Dropping deep when not in pos-
session, Italy s defensive set-up sti-
fled the Germans---another tactical
success for Conte---and made for a
contest of few clear-cut chances
until Ozil s goal.
Hector ran onto Mario Gomez s
inside pass and sent over a cross
that deflected right into the path of
the inrushing Arsenal playmaker,
who calmly steered the ball home.
It was the first time the Germans
had breached Italy s famed back line
all game, but they couldn t hold on
and finally conceded a goal at the
tournament to Bonucci, who slotted
home his first ever penalty in reg-
ulation time after Jerome Boateng
handled Giorgio Chiellini s flicked
Extra time passed without signif-
icant incident, meaning penalties
for the second time in the quarter-
finals---after Portugal beat Poland
As Germany, as ever, won the bat-
tle of nerves from the spot. (AP)
PARIS---The curse is lifted.
In eight matches at either the
European Championships or World
Cup dating back to 1962, Germany
had never beaten Italy.
The ninth time broke the spell.
The Germans can now stop calling
the Italians their Angstgegner---feared
But Germany had to pull out its
specialty party trick to do it: the
After 120 minutes of normal and
extra time ended 1-1 on Saturday,
Jonas Hector hit the winning penalty
kick that put Germany into the Euro
Here are 5 things to know about
the quarterfinal in Bordeaux.
This was a game for tactics geeks,
not neutrals hoping for end-to-end
German coach Joachim Loew paid
Italy a fine compliment by changing
his formation for this match, choos-
ing to fight fire with fire by playing
three defenders at the back like his
Italy counterpart Antonio Conte.
The German back three of Mats
Hummels, Jerome Boateng and
Benedikt Hoewedes left less space
for the Italian attacking pair of
Graziano Pelle and Eder to operate.
Joshua Kimmich, on the right, and
Hector, on the left, played as wing
backs in Loew s formation, hugging
the touchlines, pushing high up the
pitch and pulling Italy out wide.
Game of two halves
As the teams took a breather after
a goalless first 45 minutes, the boffins
at statistics outfit Opta tweeted that
of the 18 goals scored in the two
teams previous encounters at major
tournaments, 15---or 83 per cent---
came after half-time.
Mezut Ozil s opening goal for Ger-
many followed by Leonardo Bonuc-
ci s equaliser from the penalty spot
stalemated the teams at 1-1.
Settling for a shootout against
Germany was a big mistake. Since
losing its first penalty-kick contest
to Czechoslovakia in the 1976 Euro-
pean Championship final, Germany
has now won six on the trot at the
tournament and the World Cup.
Italy joins France, Mexico, England
(twice) and Argentina as victims of
German efficiency from the spot.
Out-of-favour Mario Gomez only
got to witness Germany s 2014 World
Cup win from afar, left out of Loew s
squad that triumphed in Brazil.
Recalled by Loew in November
after impressing for Besiktas in
Turkey, the 30-year-old former Bay-
ern Munich striker is now making
the most of his renaissance.
Gomez was instrumental in Ozil s
goal, holding up the ball on the left
wing and then getting it to Hector.
He laid it on for the on-rushing Arse-
nal midfielder to smash into Gianluigi
Buffon s net.
Boateng goes bonkers
In Germany s European Cham-
pionship opening win against
Ukraine, Jerome Boateng used his
long legs to pull off an incredible
goalmouth block that just, by cen-
timeters, kept out a shot that would
have levelled the score at 1-1. The
stunning reflexes and athleticism
confirmed the Bayern Munich man s
status as one of football s best
defenders and made him the talk of
But, with Germany ahead and in
control in the second half, he then
inexplicably lost his head against
Italy, needlessly giving away a penalty
that put Conte s team back in the
Missing De Rossi
Daniele De Rossi was Italy s most
prolific passer from midfield before
this match, attempting 115 passes
and completing 98 of them. Against
Spain, he completed 36 passes in
the 54 minutes he was on the pitch.
Only defenders Andrea Barzagli and
Giorgio Chiellini completed more.
Against Germany, his absence
because of a thigh injury, was sorely
felt. In the previous round, Italy
bypassed the Spanish midfield
entirely on numerous occasions but
found that much harder to do against
Germany lifts the Italy curse
Germans win 6-5 in shoot-out
Germany's Jonas Hector scores the winning penalty past Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon during the Euro 2016
quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and Italy, at the Nouveau Stade in Bordeaux, France, yesterday.
Germany defeated Italy 6-5 in a penalty shootout after the game ended tied 1-1. AP PHOTO
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