Holy crap, that first half was painful to watch. Sure I may not be a fan of Italy to begin with, but the flops and questionable challenges are sucking the quality right out of the game. To their credit they play stifling defense, but it's not exactly fan-friendly. Hopefully the second half will open up a bit, but it's not all that likely. I can't believe I'm actually hoping for a Cesc Fabregas appearance, but he would make the game a bit prettier. Continue after the jump for the second half action as it happens.
Image via Euro 2008 Girls. Hopefully it can help turn things around.
• Both teams have had decent chances early in the half, but nothing on net.
• Oh my god, it appears that Luca Toni has ruptured his Achilles tendon!
• Nope, he's OK.
• Another cross in to Toni, but he's unable to get anything to it, that's a shame. And yes, I am now openly biased, as if I hadn't been before.
• Cassano had openings but he led Ambrosini about ten yards too far, out for a goal kick.
• Torres comes right back down the pitch with great pace, and once again he's been unable to control it when confronted. He needs somebody in there to help distribute. Like say, Xabi and Cesc.
• Luis Aragonés might be having a stroke, somebody should really check on him.
• Once again the Spanish side has gotten the ball in good position with multiple attackers only to find themselves out manned by a small army of white shirts.
• Torres goes for the cross instead of making an effort at goal but it's broken up with ease.
• The Italians go to the bench first with Camoranesi coming on.
• David Silva has a go from distance after a broken corner. It landed somewhere in the first dozen rows.
• Finally Iniesta is called back to the bench in favor of Cazorla. And hey, a double! Xavi is off for Fabregas!
• Oh my, a massive scramble in front of the Spanish net. Casillas was off his line but he was able to recover with a great save on Camoranesi's first touch.
• Camoranesi drew two fouls in one minute without flopping once. Impressive.
• Mother fucking Luca Toni. Once again he drops to ground at the slightest hint of a breeze and the ref couldn't be quicker to blow...the whistle that is.
• David Villa's free kick caught a shoulder and a head on the wall, deflecting it just over the goal and onto the netting.
• Toni gets another shot at a header near the goal but it's the same result as always. Maybe they should try putting it on his foot.
• I just heard the name "Gattuso" and got a bit ill.
• Oh hell, no. Villa is yellowed for flopping in the box. Where has that call been on Twinkle Toes Toni?
• The only way Italy could be enjoyable is if they were in a ring with Andre Berto.
• Cassano is off for Di Natale.
• That Italian fist-full-of-jersey maneuver isn't very subtle, yet the Spaniards press forward.
• Luca Toni grew a mustache because he was running out of reasons for people to hate him.
• Ah crap! Buffon bobbled a shot by Senna only for it to bounce harmlessly off the post and back into his hands.
• Fortunately now the Italians are stealing crosses from one another, danger averted for Spain.
• Torres is done for the day, Guiza has taken his place.
• Another great opportunity for created by Villa for Spain, but Guiza inexplicably used his forearms to control the ball.
• Just a few minutes left before stoppage time, and then extra time. [sigh] And then penalties.
• Luca Toni is down and screaming on another quality tackle by Puyol, and the referee rushes over to perform emergency mouth-to-cock.
• Ugh. Extra time. New thread coming up shortly.