Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Forza Azzurri! Italy to the Quarterfinals!
In a rematch of the 2006 World Cup Final, Italy and France were playing to try and keep their Euro 08 hopes alive. Both teams knew that a Romania win would eliminate them both, but they had to focus on their own game.
Italy controlled the play early on, but it was in the 24th minute that the game changed. Luca Toni ran past the French defense and was taken down in the box by Eric Abidai, who was then given a red card.
Andrea Pirlo then stepped up and put the ball past the goalie to give Italy a 1-0 lead.
France was then forced to play a man down, and without star midfielder Franck Ribery who was injured in the 10th minute. Ribery's injury looks to be very serious and it is rumored to be a broken leg.
Italy dominated the play for most of the game, creating numerous chances including a Fabio Grosso free kick in the 43rd minute that was saved.
The game was finally put away in the 62nd minute after Daniele De Rossi hit a free kick that deflected off of Theirry Henry's foot.
The Italian win means that they will face Group D winners Spain in the Quarterfinals.
They will play these games without both Andrea Pirlo and Gattuso, who were both booked in this game. Pirlo's booking could have been avoided if not for France's unsportsmanlike play. An Italian player was hurt on the field but France did not stop play to let him get treatment. Pirlo then had to foul in order for play to stop.
Hopefully Italy will be able to beat a strong Spanish side without 2 of their best midfielders.
Overall it was a great, deserving win for Italy. Buffon played great once again, Luca Toni played better, and the defense was solid all around.
The Netherlands defeat Romania 2-0
With rumors of a match fixing surrounding the match, the Dutch played strong once again and defeated Romania 2-0, to help Italy get into the Quarterfinals.
Romania created many chances at the start of the game, with a few shots by Mutu going just wide of the goal.
In the 54th minute Huntelaar scored a great goal for the Dutch, while Van Persie showed why he is the best player on the Netherlands team with a goal in the 87th minute.
The Netherlands 2 goals in this game gave them 9 goals in total for group play, which tied the record.
The Dutch continued to show why they are probably the new favorites to win the tournament.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TODAY'S GAMES?