Wise words from the Football Spectator:

If anyone ever asks you why you love football, hand them a DVD of last night’s World Cup semi-final between Italy and Germany. To those that say "a goal-less match is dull" say "watch the first 90 minutes of this game" and then ask them if their opinion has changed. This match defined why football is called the beautiful game. It’s beautiful because it’s cruel, because a match can be decided in an instant, because a team can dominate and still be in danger of losing.

The Spectator also includes a good synopsis of the match, though I felt the Germans controlled the tempo in the first half and I’m not sure I saw Ballack diving all that much or at least not enough to make me notice. But regardless, the Italian goals were both beautiful in their execution.

The match will be shown again on ESPN Classic, Sunday July 9th at 9AM Eastern according to their schedule, though I’ve also seen them repeat matches from the previous day and same day in the late afternoon, preempting the scheduled shows.