Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/29/12
The time is now for Mario Balotelli. His electrifying goals in Italy's 2-1 victory against Germany was a definitive coming-of-age moment for the enigmatic striker. The goals, of course, were brilliant. His first tally came in the 20th minute when Germany foolishly allowed Andrea Pirlo time to survey the field. The Italian maestro hit a perfect diagonal ball to left-back Giorgio Chiellini, who wisely deferred to striker Antonio Cassano. The AC Milan striker expertly turned inside the German defense and whipped an inch-perfect cross towards goal. There, Balotelli beat Holger Badstuber to the spot and sent the ball home from...

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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