The official website for European football

Italy victory good enough to progress

Published: Monday 18 June 2012, 22.40CET
Italy 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli scored to secure victory for the Azzurri which, combined with Spain's win in Gdansk, put them in the last eight.
by Sam Adams
from Municipal Stadium Poznan

Match statistics

ItalyRepublic of Ireland

Goals scored2
 
0
Possession (%)60
 
40
Total attempts27
 
6
Attempts on target17
 
2
Attempts off target10
 
4
Attempts blocked11
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners12
 
5
Offsides3
 
7
Yellow cards3
 
4
Red Cards0
1
Fouls committed15
 
23
Fouls suffered23
 
15

Standings

Last updated: 12/02/2013 17:13 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Monday 18 June 2012, 22.40CET

Italy victory good enough to progress

Italy 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli scored to secure victory for the Azzurri which, combined with Spain's win in Gdansk, put them in the last eight.

Italy overcame the Republic of Ireland, and a bout of nerves, to take their place in the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals after Spain defeated Croatia in Group C’s other deciding match.

The Azzurri knew victory was a must before kick-off, but they also had to rely on events in Gdansk. Antonio Cassano helped Cesare Prandelli's side towards their part of the bargain, heading in Andrea Pirlo's 35th-minute corner. Italian fears of a high-scoring draw in the corresponding game were allayed by a late Jesús Navas goal, and substitute Mario Balotelli hooked in a late second to make certain of the three points and, ultimately, second place in the section.

The onus was on Italy, but it was Ireland who started with more urgency. Giovanni Trapattoni had lamented the concession of early goals in both his side's losses, and the first opening fell to Kevin Doyle within ten seconds of kick-off, though the forward was unable to get his shot away. Ireland were looking lively, again cheered on by their huge travelling support, and Doyle had a header blocked as they sought a tangible return from their early adventure.

However, Italy soon shook off their early hesitancy and – crucially – began to get Cassano into the game. It took Sean St Ledger's sturdy torso to block the No10's goalbound shot before he released Antonio Di Natale, who skipped round Shay Given only to see his effort from an acute angle cleared by the same Ireland defender.

The goalkeeper could then only divert a speculative Cassano shot round the post, and from the resulting corner, the AC Milan forward glanced in Pirlo's flat delivery with the Ireland captain for the day, Damien Duff, unable to hack it clear in time from his station on the back post.

At half-time, with Croatia and Spain goalless, Italy were going through as group winners. They also nearly doubled their lead on the resumption when some neat interplay between Federico Balzaretti and Cassano left the latter in on goal, only for Richard Dunne to get across and block the shot. Ireland were not done just yet, though, and their ploy of getting wide and supplying crosses always looked like it could produce something.

Much like in the Croatia game, Italy were falling back, their cause not aided by the loss of Giorgio Chiellini to injury before the hour. Cassano had also been replaced and the pressure built on the Azzurri goal. St Ledger headed over and Gianluigi Buffon beat away Keith Andrews' low drive as Ireland piled forward, preying on Italian nerves.

However, as news drifted through of Spain's goal, Italy relaxed and were seeing out the last few minutes comfortably enough, especially after Andrews was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Balotelli then made things certain, in Poznan at least, when he converted Alessandro Diamanti's corner in the 90th minute. While Ireland go home with three losses from their first EURO appearance since 1988, unbeaten Italy survive to play another day.



Last updated: 25/09/14 4.50CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15172/match=2003340/postmatch/report/index.html#italy+progress

Lineups

Italy

Italy

Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland

1
BuffonGianluigi Buffon (GK) (C)
Yellow Card73
1
GivenShay Given (GK)
3
ChielliniGiorgio Chiellini
Substitution57
2
St LedgerSean St Ledger
Yellow Card84
5
Thiago MottaThiago Motta
3
WardStephen Ward
6
BalzarettiFederico Balzaretti
Yellow Card28
4
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
Yellow Card39
7
AbateIgnazio Abate
5
DunneRichard Dunne
8
MarchisioClaudio Marchisio
6
WhelanGlenn Whelan
10
CassanoAntonio Cassano
Goal35
Substitution63
7
McGeadyAiden McGeady
Substitution65
11
Di NataleAntonio Di Natale
Substitution74
8
AndrewsKeith Andrews
Yellow Card37
Red Card89
15
BarzagliAndrea Barzagli
9
DoyleKevin Doyle
Substitution76
16
De RossiDaniele De Rossi
Yellow Card71
10
KeaneRobbie Keane
Substitution86
21
PirloAndrea Pirlo
11
DuffDamien Duff (C)

Substitutes

12
SiriguSalvatore Sirigu (GK)
16
WestwoodKeiren Westwood (GK)
14
De SanctisMorgan De Sanctis (GK)
23
FordeDavid Forde (GK)
2
MaggioChristian Maggio
12
KellyStephen Kelly
4
OgbonnaAngelo Ogbonna
13
McShanePaul McShane
9
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Substitution74
Goal90
14
WaltersJon Walters
Substitution76
13
GiaccheriniEmanuele Giaccherini
15
GibsonDarron Gibson
17
BoriniFabio Borini
17
HuntStephen Hunt
18
MontolivoRiccardo Montolivo
18
O'DeaDarren O'Dea
19
BonucciLeonardo Bonucci
Substitution57
19
LongShane Long
Substitution65
20
GiovincoSebastian Giovinco
20
CoxSimon Cox
Substitution86
22
DiamantiAlessandro Diamanti
Substitution63
21
GreenPaul Green
23
NocerinoAntonio Nocerino
22
McCleanJames McClean

Coach

Cesare Prandelli (ITA) Giovanni Trapattoni (ITA)

Referee

Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)

Assistant referees

Bahattin Duran (TUR), Tarik Ongun (TUR)

Fourth official

Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)

Additional assistant referees

Hüseyin Göçek (TUR), Bülent Yıldırım (TUR)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
  • © 1998-2013 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.