Euro '08: Day 7 ReviewPosted on: 16 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Holland hammer France to reach the quarter-finals with a game to spare, leaving Italy and France to scrap it out with Romania for second place.
Holland’s stunning win over France means they’ll finish as Group C winners with a game to spare, leaving France with it all to do against Italy in a repeat of the World Cup final two years ago.
Romania held Italy to leave them in pole position for the runners up spot and a route to the quarter finals. The Italians have been a shadow of the side crowned world champions just 24 months ago.
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Holland continue to dazzle at Euro 2008, not just with their bright orange shirts but also the scintillating soccer on show.
The Dutch brushed aside France 4-1 in the Swiss capital of Berne to finish top of Group C with a match still to play against Romania.
Dirk Kuyt headed the Netherlands in front after only 10 minutes before substitute Robin van Persie turned in Arjen Robben’s cross on the hour.
Holland 4-1 France
Italy 1-1 Romania
Holland 3-0 Italy
Romania 0-0 France
Thierry Henry pulled one back from close range for France with 19 minutes left but Robben’s angled finish seconds later sunk the French.
In injury time, Wesley Sneijder rubbed salt into the wounds with a fourth Dutch goal with a fine strike from 20 yards.
The result leaves France fighting for their lives in the so-called “Group of Death” and a mouth-watering climax to the group.
Italy’s earlier draw with Romania leaves them both battling to reach the last eight and one of the World Cup finalists facing an early exit.
The Italians had to thank Gigi Buffon for keeping them in the competition after saving Adrian Mutu’s late penalty.
France Vs Italy (7.45pm BBC)
Holland Vs Romania (7.45pm BBC)
Luca Toni had a goal chalked off for offside before Mutu lifted in a shot to give Romania a surprise lead.
But the advantage lasted barely a minute with Christian Panucci touching in Giorgio Chiellini’s header across goal.
With both sides pressing for a valuable winner, Buffon’s heroics saved Italy ahead of a final group game against France.
Did you see either of these games? Who will join Holland in the quarter-finals? Who do you think will win Euro 2008? Share your thoughts in the 50connect forums.
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