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Euro 2008 - European Championship Finals in Austria and Switzerland

France vs Italy in Zurich.

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Euro 2008 - Group C Match

Tuesday, 17th June at 20.45

A replay of the 2006 World Cup Final is to see who goes home from Euro 2006. Both teams could go out if Romania beat Holland or both games are a draw.

France must win, Italy could go through with a draw; depending on the Romania result.

Luca Toni was presented with a golden opportunity in the fourth minute, after a long ball forward split the French defence and left the Bayern Munich striker with just Coupet to beat. Instead of taking another touch to get closer, Toni snapped at the ball from the edge of the area and shot wide of the goal.

Soon after, Franck Ribery injured himself and had to be taken off the Letzigrund pitch. Thierry Henry tried to comfort him as Samir Nasri prepared to come on.

An eleventh minute corner into Christian Panucci was half-saved by Gregory Coupet and cleared off the line by Claude Makelele, as Italy continued to take the initiative.

Eric Abidal saw red when he brought down Luca Toni in the 24th minute. Andrea Pirlo then made no mistake from the penalty spot, to give Italy the advantage.

Samir Nasri, the substitute for Franck Ribery, was then himself substituted; as France had to adjust to playing another 64 minutes with only 10 men.

Needing to score two goals against an Italian side given a new lease of life, the French fans must be hoping that Romania go on to win in Bern.

Then just before half-time Italy came so close to making it two, as Fabio Grosso's free-kick swung around the wall and was touched onto the post by Coupet.

Half-time - 0:1

Less than ten minutes after the re-start, news came through from Bern that Holland had taken the lead; meaning that a draw would be good enough for Italy.

At a moment when Italy weren't looking too bright, Daniele De Rossi fired in a free-kick that took a wicked deflection off Thierry Henry. The World champions would need three goals from France or two from Romania to keep them out of the quarter-finals.

Brining on Nicolas Anelka was France's last chance to try and get back into the game, but the mountain to climb seemed bigger than Mt. Blanc itself.

In the 74th minute, Gianluigi Buffon made a flying save to deny Karim Benzema his first goal of the tournament. So much was expected of the Olympique Lyonnais striker at the start of the tournament; as so much was expected of France.

William Gallas walked off the pitch looking hurt, but with France already down to ten men and with all three substitutes used, he'd have to get back and stick it out.

Despite numerous attempts, Luca Toni just couldn't find the back of the net.

Final Score:
France 0 - Italy 2

goal.gif (309 bytes) Goalscorers:
0:1 Andrea Pirlo (25pen)
0:2 Daniele De Rossi (62)


23 Gregory Coupet; 13 Patrice Evra, 3 Eric Abidal, 5 William Gallas, 14 Francois Clerc; 22 Franck Ribery, 6 Claude Makelele, 20 Jeremy Toulalan, 10 Sidney Govou; 12 Thierry Henry, 9 Karim Benzema.

1 Gianluigi Buffon; 3 Fabio Grosso, 4 Giorgio Chiellini, 2 Christian Panucci, 19 Gianluca Zambrotta; 8 Gennaro Gattuso, 10 Daniele De Rossi, 21 Andrea Pirlo; 18 Antonio Cassano, 20 Simone Perrotta, 9 Luca Toni.

Lubos Michel (Slovakia)

change.gif (94 bytes) Substitutions:
10 Mins - 11 Samir Nasri on for 22 Franck Ribery
26 Mins - 2 Jean-Alain Boumsong on for 11 Samir Nasri
55 Mins - 13 Massimo Ambrosini on for 21 Andrea Pirlo
64 Mins - 16 Mauro Camoranesi on for 20 Simone Perrotta
66 Mins - 8 Nicolas Anelka on for 10 Sidney Govou
82 Mins - 22 Alberto Aquilani on for 8 Gennaro Gattuso

yellow_card.gif (94 bytes)7 Yellow Cards:
18 Mins - Patrice Evra (France)
45 Mins - Andrea Pirlo (Italy) - Will miss quarter-final.
45 Mins - Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)
47 Mins - Sidney Govou (France)
54 Mins - Gennaro Gattuso (Italy) - Will miss quarter-final.
72 Mins - Jean-Alain Boumsong (France)
85 Mins - Thierry Henry (France)

Red Card1 Red Card:
24 Mins - Eric Abidal (France)

Netherlands vs Romania


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