Italy Vs. Ireland, Euro 2012: Final Score 2-0 As Italy Advance

Italy are through to the knockout rounds of Euro 2012 after beating Ireland 2-0 and seeing Spain knock off Croatia. They went into the match knowing that they'd need Spain's help, but they got it and fulfilled their end of the bargain - just. Ireland, who were rolled over by both other teams in the group, kept it very close for most of the match, going 1-0 down in the 35th minute thanks to an Antonio Cassano header but keeping the draw within reach until the very last minute.

It's fortunate, perhaps, that Mario Balotelli scored when he did, because otherwise there'd have been very little to talk about in the second half. Keith Andrews hit a shot than Gianluigi Buffon did well to save, which was interesting, but not nearly so interesting as the Manchester City striker's acrobatic finish from a corner that came just seconds after Andrews got himself sent off with a second yellow card. Balotelli's goal meant that Italy could breathe - they weren't playing well and it looked like Ireland might have had an equaliser in them, but at 2-0 their position in the match was secure.

Getting through group C wasn't easy, and although Italy weren't at their best, they did enough.

You can find our previous coverage of both of Monday's games in our Euro 2012, Group C Finale StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.