Monday, June 18, 2012

Italy 2 - 0 Republic of Ireland (full-time) UPDATED

The first part of this half the Italians were defending and not playing well, but the goal made the Italians more confident, and in fact they are pushing for the second. The first chance of the match came from Ireland when Andrea Pirlo passed wrongly, and Kevin Doyle could have scored, but Buffon saved well. Ireland responded with Abate, when he tried to find Pirlo, but Keith Andrews defended well. Pirlo again tried to find Cassano with a through ball, but Andrews again cleared by heading the ball. Ireland counter-attacked from Glen Whelan when he passed the ball to Robbie Keane, but the referee whistled for a foul from the latter. Damien Duff had a dangerous free-kick put into the box, but Richard Dunne fouled barzagli, who had an excellent game. Ireland then had a chance from the wings, Aiden McGeady crossed the ball but Doyle could not make contact with the ball. Italy had been disappointing until this point in the match. Italy scored the important goal when a corner from Cassano was crossed in the near post, and Cassano headed the ball in, to put Italy first in the group, because in the other match the result was 0-0.

2nd half

A nail-biting half which saw Ireland attack to get an equalizer, but the Italians defended well. Italy started the half well, and nearly scored when De Rossi found Di Natale, but the shot was blocked by Dunne. De Rossi was presented with a chance but his shot went over. Di Natale counter-attacked but Given saved the ball and the defense cleared the danger. Italy defense was excellent especially on the left were Balzaretti was. Cassano then was substituted by Alessandro Diamanti. The last 20 minutes Ireland started attacking, but there was few danger for Italy. Italy started getting nervous and Ireland started taking advantage with crosses coming from everywhere into the box. Andrews had a chance from a header as Buffon could not hold onto the ball. Ireland then had Keith Andrews sent off, a decision which infuriated him, and even shot a ball ending in the direction of Prandelli. Finally Balotelli scored and secured the win for Italy when a free-kick ended in his way scored a beautiful goal, but however Spain won and so they came runners up in the group.

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