Euro '08: Day 11 ReviewPosted on: 19 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Italy knock France out of Euro 2008, joining Holland in the quarter-finals.
Italy sent France crashing out of Euro 2008 with a 2-0 win in their final group game.
The Azzuri will meet Spain in the quarter-finals after beating 10-man France in Zurich.
Romania were also packing their bags after being beaten by the same scoreline by Group C winners Holland.
Your one stop shop for profiles, previews and reviews on Euro 2008.
France endured a torrid evening as they were dumped out of Euro 2008 by Italy.
Both sides needed a win to stand any chance of qualifying for the last eight, and hope that they bettered Romania’s score against Holland at the same time.
But a woeful evening for the French saw them lose star midfielder Franck Ribery to a suspected serious knee injury after only seven minutes.
Things got worse as Eric Abidal was then sent off after 25 minutes for fouling Luca Toni to give away a penalty, which was duly despatched by Andrea Pirlo.
Italy went on to dominate what was a terrible opening 45 minutes for France, with striker Toni failing finish any of his five golden opportunities.
The French were on the ropes and Daniele De Rossi put them out of their misery just past the hour mark.
The Roma midfielder’s 30-yard free-kick took a deflection of Thierry Henry to double the scoreline for the world champions and put them into the quarter finals.
Despite the joys of qualifying for the last eight, Italy will be without influential midfield pair Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso through suspension for their showdown with Spain on Sunday.
France on the other hand, appeared a spent force and their early exit will now surely signify the end of an era for a group of players that has enjoyed so much success.
Claude Makelele and Lilian Thuram have already announced their international retirement following the defeat, with Henry also considering his future.
Coach Raymond Domenech should also lose his job for his tactical mismanagements and poor team selection.
Elsewhere, Holland kept up their 100% record with a 2-0 win over Romania in Berne.
Italy’s win over France meant that the Romanians had to beat the Dutch to progress but they rarely threatened Holland’s reserve goalkeeper Maartin Stekelenburg.
Holland 2-0 Romania
France 0-2 Italy
Holland 4-1 France
Italy 1-1 Romania
Holland 3-0 Italy
Romania 0-0 France
Holland made nine changes to their side but goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie ended Romani’s hopes of a quarter-final berth.
Huntelaar opened the scoring in the second half when he slotted in Ibrahim Afellay’s low cross from the right.
And van Persie secured the table-toppers third win from three when he smashed in from close range.
Marco van Basten’s side will now play either Russia or Sweden in the last eight and following their first three performances, Holland will fancy their chances against any opposition.
Did you see either of these games? Should Abidal have been sent off for France? Can Italy go on to win the tournament? How will Holland fare? Share your thoughts in the 50connect forums.
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