Euro 2012

Italy/Germany - Balotelli brace seals Italian place in final

A Mario Balotelli header and a thumping drive gave Italy a richly deserved 2-1 win over Germany in Thursday's semi-final in Warsaw.

The 21-year-old struck a first half brace to stun the Germans before a Mesut Ozil penalty reduced the deficit at the death.

Italy will play defending champions Spain in the final on Sunday in Kiev.

Balotelli headed in on 20 minutes after a superlative piece of skill and cross from Antonio Cassano, who out-foxed two defenders before delivering the striker his chance on a plate.

Then on 36 minutes Balotelli produced a scintillating second, smashing home from just outside the box after beating the offside trap after a Riccardo Montolivo through ball played him into acres of space.

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon fails to stop a penalty during the Euro 2012 football championships semi-final match Germany vs Italy on June 28, 2012 at the National Stadium in Warsaw. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

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