Euro 2008: Spain vs. Italy (Your Running Commentary)

Euro 2008: Spain vs. Italy (Your Running Commentary)

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Euro 2008: Spain vs. Italy (Your Running Commentary)

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After three exhilarating, unpredictable, entertaining and unforgettable quarterfinal match-ups, can the last match of the European Championship quarterfinal round possibly give us more?

It just might. Spain and Italy square off in what was probably the most anticipated match-up of the quarterfinal round. That was before late-game heroics, penalty kick drama and a shocking upset left us begging for more. Can Spain and Italy deliver?

In one corner you have the Spaniards, notorious for folding in big tournaments, the last remaining unbeaten and the last remaining group winner, facing Italy, the reigning World Champions and the team that didn’t win at Euro 2008 until its final group match against France. Can Italy, missing key defenders and showing its age, really beat a loaded Spanish squad that looks as dangerous in attack as it looks stingy in defense?

Come on, can you really say no? Can you doubt any outcome in this tournament after Turkey stunned the Croatians and Russia upset the Netherlands?

Well, I’m saying no, if only because I’m standing at a tidy 0-3 for the quarters and have to hold on to my pick to win the tournament. I picked Spain to win it all and I’ll stick to that, even after all the drama of the early quarterfinal matches. I’ll say Spain wins 2-1 (that sound you hear is Spanish fans crying because I just gave Spain the kiss of death).

I will be doing a running commentary of the match so feel free to follow along here and, whether you’re watching at home or are stuck where you can’t watch, you’re more than welcome to share your thoughts and opinions before, during and after the match in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match.

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70th minute– Okay folks, I’m off to try and get my laptop fixed. Enjoy the rest of the match and share your comments below.

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55th minute– And here comes Spain again, applying pressure. Not sure how much longer Italy’s defense holds up.

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51st minute– Toni barely offside and nearly gets onto a great ball in from Grosso. I get the feeling that Toni is going to score today.

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50th minute– Italy looks content to let Spain knock it around.

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HALFTIME– Spain has had the better of the play, more of the possession and better chances. Italy has defended well and benefited from some non-calls. Service to Luca Toni is an issue. He looks hungry for a score but can’t get enough service. Not sure what subs Roberto Donadoni can make at this point, or if he’ll be content with the solid defending.

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45th minute– A testy match today, the testiest match of the quarters. I wonder how much the ref is to blame.

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42nd minute– The referee conpletely misses a foul by Gross on David Silva just outside the area. This ref is shocking today.

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38th minute– Spain putting more pressure on, with Torres and Silva taking shots. Spain has looked good so far, better than Italy to this point.

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36th minute– Toni with a header that looked headed for goal before Marchena got in the way. Italy’s best sequence yet.

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34th minute– Spain is starting to get some shots on Buffon, though from long range and I don’t see Buffon being beaten from distance.

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31st minute– Ambrosini with a completely deserved yellow card for a rough challenge on Senna.

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29th minute– Just when we thought the referee would call the game tightly i think we’ve seen about four fouls not called in the past five to 10 minutes.

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25th minute– David Villa with a hard and low free kick that Buffon smothers.

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22nd minute– Wow, Ambrosini nearly found Toni with a great ball in but it came a bit too early so the chance went begging.

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19th minute-Perotta streaks in with a dangerous header chance but his header is wide.

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18th minute– Torres wastes a good run in but Zambrotta pressures him into a bad shot.

The referee seems a bit too involved early on.

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15th minute- Spain controlling early on but no real chances yes.

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12th minute– Apologies for the delay. The referee has taken control of the game early and won’t be letting it get too physical.

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