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European Leagues: European Cups: Euro 2000 -- Match 18

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First Round

  • Mon. 19th June: (Group B)
    Game 18 Italy - Sweden
    Philips stadium, Eindhoven (20:45)

italy.gif (1092 bytes)

Previous Games:
Tur - Ita (1-2)
Ita - Bel (2-0)

Game 18

sweden.gif (1082 bytes)

Previous Games:
Bel - Swe (2-1)
Swe - Tur (0-0)

Sweden may fancy their chances to win against Italy, who are already qualified as winners of the group, but will be relying on Turkey to win by less goals against Belgium. A draw for Belgium, and it doesn't matter if Sweden win by ten goals.

Both games kick off at the same time.

Sweden's boreless draw with Turkey was the tournament's least entertaining match to date and hasn't made Sweden many friends among neutral fans. Put it this way, no-one outside of the Scandinavian country would miss them if they were to go home early. Lars Lagerbeck blames his side's poor showing on lack of luck and poor refereeing. We blame it on lack of creative ideas.

The Swedes look as though they'll be without Kennet Andersson, Roland Nilsson, and Teddy Lucic; all through injury.

While Italy don't need to commit themselves in this game, it would still be a psychological advantage to go into the quarter-final, perhaps against England, with an unbeaten record. Make it win number three and even the Italian media might start to think that Dino Zoff is getting things right. Get a star player injured, and Gazzetta dello Sport will be on his back again. Why take the risk.

Italian Team:
12- Francesco Toldo
2-Ciro Ferrara, 3-Paolo Maldini, 15-Mark Iuliano, 16-Massimo Ambrosini
6-Paolo Negro, 7-Angelo De Livio, 11-Gianluca Pessotto, 14-Luigi di Biagio
10-Alessandro del Piero, 19-Vincenzo Montella

Sweden Team:
1-Magnus Hedman
3-Patrik Anderson, 4-Joakim Bjorklund, 8-Tomas Gustafsson , 14-Olof Mellberg
7- Hakan Mild, 9-Fredrik Ljungberg, 13-Magnus Svensson, 17-Johan Mjallby
18-Yksel Osmanovski, 20-Henrik Larsson

Referee: Vitor Manuel Melo Pereira (Portugal)

1-0. Del Piero takes Italy's first corner and it's headed in by Di Biagio; 39mins.

1-1. Sweden beat the offside and Larsson takes the ball through to level the scores; 77mins. But it's 2-0 to Turkey in Brussels.

2-1. Del Piero with a left foot shot from the edge of the area; 88mins. De Wilde has been sent off in Brussels.

Result: Italy 2 -- Sweden 1

Man of the Match: Del Piero.

Sweden paid the price for their missed chances early in the game. At least Henrik Larsson managed to get a goal in this tournament but it's back to the drawing board for the Scandinavians. Sometimes a little luck is needed to win and Sweden didn't get any.

The match of the day was the one in Brussels which saw Turkey beat co-hosts Belgium, to join Italy in the quarter-finals.


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