Friday, 15 June 2012

Euro 2012 Day 7 Review

Day seven of the championships saw the teams from Group C play their second matches.

First up we saw Italy take on Croatia in Poznan, the Italians held champions Spain to a draw in their opener and looked really good on the day, Croatia were also impressive in their comfortable victory against the Republic of Ireland. This was a game that promised much but in truth delivered very little.

The opening half seemed to drag as both teams struggled to make use of their possession, Italy were the best out of the two but couldn't find the break though, until a moment of brilliance. Andrea Pirlo proved once again that he is the man for the big occasions as curled in a fantastic free kick to give his side a vital lead, six minutes before half time.

Italy started the second half knowing that if they could hold on to their lead, then they would be huge favorites to qualify. They couldn't seem to grad hold of the game though as Croatia came back into it, they leveled the scores in the 72nd minute as Mario Mandzukic, fired in from close range after the Italians failed to deal with a cross. The game then petered out to a draw.

Croatia will be satisfied with the result but may need to gain something out of the Spanish game, Italy would have been very disappointed not to get all three points however they have the weakest team in the group (Republic of Ireland) to face next so will be confident.  

The second game was between champions Spain and underdogs the Republic of Ireland. Spain gained a point from their opener against the Italians and surely could only get better The Irish came into this game after being soundly beaten by Croatia in their first match, they were hoping for a major upset.

Like the Croatia game, the Irish made a poor start as Fernando Torres defied his critics with an unstoppable strike after just four minutes. The game looked like a training match as the Irish couldn't get the ball off the Spanish, they managed to keep the score to one going into the interval but it just seemed a matter of time.

It was important for the Republic of Ireland to make a good start to the second period, unfortunately this again wasn't the case as Manchester City's David Silva passed delicately into the far corner leaving the Irish with a mountain to climb. Credit to the Irish though, they kept battling although another goal from Torres and  a goal from Cesc Fabregas, rounded off the game for Spain.

I expect Spain to beat Croatia next and qualify for the quarter finals, the Republic of Ireland who are now the first side to exit the tournament, have a tough game next against the Italians which I can't see them getting anything out of to be honest.

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