This is the end, my friend. We went minute-by-minute for the final games of Group C and, sadly, Ireland’s final game of Euro 2012. We had every kick as the Boys in Green take on Italy in Poznan as well as regular updates from Spain v Croatia in Gdansk.
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Ireland 0-2 Italy // Spain 1-0 Croatia
19.17 – Tonight should’ve been the big one — a chance for Trap to get one over on his fellow countrymen and Ireland to progress to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 at Italy’s expense. Instead, we’ve got nothing.
But the Boys in Green still have 90 minutes to play before they pack their bags and head for the departures lounge so we might as well make the most of it. After all, considering the way we’ve played in the last two games, it could be another 24 years before we get back to another major championship.
But enough of that negativity, there’s football to be watched. Stick with us for minute-by-minute updates of Ireland v Italy as well as updates from a Group C game that’s actually important, Spain v Croatia.
19.21 – Before we get started, here’s a quick reminder of how things stand in Group C after the opening two games:
19.26 – Who needs what to qualify? Well, nothing less than a win will do for Italy. If they fail to beat Ireland tonight, they are out and Spain and Croatia will go through to the quarter-finals in their place.
By now, you’re probably aware that there is a cruel twist of mathematics which could see Italy win and still go out. If Spain v Croatia finishes in a 2-2 draw or higher, that is exactly what will happen. A 1-1 draw might also be enough to see Spain and Croatia through at Italy’s expense, depending on how many goals Italy beat Ireland by.
Confused? Yup, us too.
20.03 – Brilliant tackle by Kevin Doyle to dispossess Andrea Pirlo and as Ireland amble forward, the Juventus midfielder stays on the ground clutching his leg until Ireland feel bad and pass the ball out of play. Of course there’s nothing wrong with him — fooled again, dammit.
21.08 – A quick update on the Group C standings with a half-hour to play. It’s still 0-0 in Gdansk so as things stand, Italy would go through as group winners and Spain would go through in second. Spain are living dangerously though as a Croatian goal now would send Slaven Bilic’s men through as winners and Italy as runners-up… Spain, the reigning World and European champions would be going home with us.