Germany vs. Italy Video: Watch Mario Balotelli Put Italy Up 2 Goals with Strike

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2012

On the improbability scale, where would you have put Mario Balotelli scoring two first-half goals for Italy against Germany?

500 to 1? 1000 to 1?

Well, the improbable has happened.

Balotelli's first goal was an excellent header off of an even better individual effort and cross from Antonio Cassano. His second goal, seen above, was a brilliant strike on a breakaway after Riccardo Montolivo found him with acres of space behind the German defense.

That strike was a far cry from the horrendous effort he managed against Spain in the group stage on the break, when he didn't even get off a shot after a loafing run at the goal. Unlike that disappointment, this was a clinical finish from Balotelli.

Seriously, how did this happen?

For all of the history Italy has of vanquishing the Germans at major tournaments, this seemed to be the year Germany would end that streak. They came into this match on the heels of 15 straight wins in competitive matches and have looked like the best team in the Euros.

And they still might be, but a comeback from a 2-0 deficit at the half will be a tall task.

For Balotelli, this is the ultimate retribution for those who have questioned him throughout this tournament. For all of his inconsistency, his head-scratching plays, his volatile demeanor, Balotelli is capable of brilliance.

And with a little help from his friends in the first half against Germany, he reminded us of that.



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