Translate into:
 
THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

EURO 2012 LIVE: Final Group C matches

Italy's Antonio Cassano and teammates celebrates after their side's first goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group C match between Italy and the Republic of Ireland in Poznan, Poland, Monday, June 18, 2012. Italy's Antonio Cassano and teammates celebrates after their side's first goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group C match between Italy and the Republic of Ireland in Poznan, Poland, Monday, June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
By Jack Bezants
AP Sports Writer / June 18, 2012
Text size +
  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

WARSAW, Poland—Defending champion Spain beat Croatia 1-0 with a late goal, while Italy beat Ireland 2-0 in the final Group C matches at the European Championship. Both teams advanced to the last eight, with the Spanish topping the group.

Here is a running account of Monday's action. All times are local to Poland.

------

2245: So Group C has been resolved and Tuesday will see the last two places in the knockout stage of the competition accounted for from Group D. England plays co-host Ukraine while France takes on Sweden, who are already out of the competition. England, Ukraine and France can all still qualify, but Ukraine knows only a win will do and all eyes will be on national idol Andriy Shevchenko to lead the side to victory. The group winner will take on Italy while the runner up will face defending champion Spain.

------

2243: Balotelli started to shout something when he scored Italy's second but a teammate swiftly put his hand over the controversial striker's mouth. Whatever it was, it must have been controversial.

------

2242: So Spain goes through as winner of Group C and Italy is the runner up. Italy deserved to win, while Spain was pushed all the way by Croatia, who will look back upon Srna's missed header as the best chance to have taken something from the game. That was Bilic's last match taking charge of the Croatian national team.

------

2238: FULL-TIME: Croatia 0, Spain 1.

------

2237: FULL-TIME: Italy 2, Ireland 0

------

2237: With his back to goal, Balotelli twists and volleys goalwards from a delivery on the right and Given does not stand a chance.

------

2234: GOAL! Italy 2, Ireland 0 (Balotelli)

------

2233: RED CARD! Keith Andrews, Ireland

------

2233: That surely seals it for Spain. Fabregas lifts the ball over the top of the defense and both Iniesta and Jesus Navas break the offside trap. Iniesta rolls it across the six yard area and Navas walks it home into an empty net.

------

2231: GOAL! Croatia 0, Spain 1 (Navas).

------

2227: There are some very nervous looking faces in the Spanish section of the stadium in Gdansk. If Croatia sneaks a goal here and holds on and wins, Spain will be out.

------

2223:Keith Andrews goes close for Ireland from a free kick. Damien Duff tees him up and Andrews drills a fierce low shot at goal but Buffon makes a good save. Good effort from Andrews.

------

2219: A little under 15 minutes to go in both games here. As it stands, Italy and Spain are through from Group C.

------

2217: David Silva is coming off for Cesc Fabregas, who is now the most attacking player on the field for Spain due to Torres being taken off earlier. For Italy, Antonio Di Natale is replaced by Mario Balotelli.

------

2213: Free kick right on the edge of the penalty area for Italy, in a position similar to where Pirlo scored against Croatia. Can he do the same again here against Ireland? No -- his effort curls over the bar to the delight of the cheering Irish fans.

------

2206: Substitution for Spain, Torres replaced by Jesus Navas.

------

2205: Croatia goes so close to taking the lead in Gdansk! Modric weaves away down the right before hitting a great pass over the Spanish defense and onto the head of Srna, who is denied at close range by a diving Casillas. The Croatia captain should have scored.

------

2200: Giorgio Chiellini hobbles off for Italy, and Leonardo Bonucci takes to the pitch in his place. The Italians will be hoping that is nothing too serious because an injury to one of its most experienced defenders will be a massive blow.

------

2159: Di Natale nearly scores for Italy, getting the ball on the left of the penalty area before shooting at the near post, but Given gets down well and palms the ball away. Italy is looking threatening.

------

2158: AP's Paul Logothetis in Gdansk: Another flare lit up by Croatia fans in the 52nd minute, in the corner of the stand, just as Fernando Torres nearly gets through for a chance.

------

2157: Iniesta nearly plays Torres through on goal in Gdansk but overhits his pass into the striker and Pletikosa comes out to claim the ball. It is a rare sight to see, Iniesta getting the wrong weight on the pass, as he is normally immaculate in possession.

------

2154: Great move from the Italians and it nearly ends with Cassano scoring his second goal of the game. He exchanges passes with Balzaretti and aims low but Dunne is there for Ireland to get the block in. Positive start to the second half from Italy.

------

2149: Both games are underway again. Top spot is up for grabs and, if results remain this way, Italy will be group winner.

------

2140: In Gdansk it has been a quiet game, with Croatia proving very difficult for Spain to break down. Slaven Bilic's side has offered virtually nothing offensively, but in defense has nullified the attacking poise of Torres, Silva and Iniesta. Torres has looked sharp after scoring twice against Ireland but no players have shone for the defending champion so far. In Poznan, the Italians lead at the break but Ireland has shown enough for it to believe it could still get something from this match. They have looked able to cause problems when they have got forward but lost their way as the first half progressed. As things stand, Italy is top of the group.

------

2130: HALFTIME: Italy 1, Ireland 0; Croatia 0, Spain 0

------

2125: Moments after Di Natale had a penalty shout turned away by the referee, his strike partner gives Italy the lead. Cassano scores with a glancing, near-post header from a corner by Pirlo. Duff, who was on the post, kicked the ball clear but it had already crossed the line. As it stands, Italy is top of the group and Spain is second.

------

2122: GOAL! Italy 1, Ireland 0 (Cassano)

------

2117: CROATIA VS. SPAIN: Torres has continued his lively form from the Ireland game, weaving into the penalty area on the right before shooting from an acute angle, forcing a save from Pletikosa. Sergio Ramos then brings a stop from the Croatia goalkeeper with a long-range effort. Spain is stepping it up a bit.

------

2110: ITALY VS. IRELAND: The already-eliminated Irish are enjoying their fair share of possession in the opening 20 minutes in Poznan. They do seem to be playing with a lot more freedom than was seen in their opening two matches and they are unbeaten in three fixtures against Italy under their Italian coach, Giovanni Trapattoni.

------

2105: CROATIA VS. SPAIN: Spain is wearing blue shirts with black shorts tonight instead of its famous red shirt because Croatia, which is ruled as the home team, plays in its favored red-and-white chequered shirt. Not many chances early on here.

------

2059: Paul Logothetis, AP reporter at Croatia vs. Spain: Croatian fans throw flare from upper tier and it comes flying down onto their own supporters sitting in lower tier in 6th minute at Arena Gdansk.

------

2052: ITALY VS. IRELAND: De Rossi with an early shot for Italy. Di Natale breaks down the right and switches the play with a floated cross over to De Rossi, who hits a left-foot volley from outside the penalty area that flies wide of the left post. It wasn't troubling Given in the Ireland goal, but a good start from the Italians.

CROATIA VS. SPAIN: Spain has started on the front foot against Croatia, but that packed midfield that Slaven Billic selected to frustrate the defending champions and their fluent passing game is holding strong in the opening exchanges.

------

2045: Both games have kicked off...

------

2037: Mario Balotelli drops to the bench for Italy, which starts with Antonio Di Natale in attack with Antonio Cassano. The Spanish players warming up on the pitch in Gdansk are wearing Knesio tape, which relaxes overused muscles while helping to rehabilitate recovering muscles.

------

2030: Spain and Croatia both have four points, Italy has two and Ireland none. So three teams could all end up with five points by the end of the two matches. Then things would get complicated, with various permutations coming into play. We'll keep you updated.

Spain is unchanged and that means another start for Fernando Torres, who scored twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Ireland on Thursday. Croatia drops striker Nikica Jelavic, so Mario Mandzukic plays up front on his own in a 4-5-1 formation. The Croatians will look to flood the midfield, where Spain is so strong.

------

2019: Ireland's players will be wearing black armbands tonight, commemorating the 18-year anniversary of shootings in Northen Ireland that killed six people. The match falls on the exact date of the attack and is especially poignant as it happened while the victims were watching Ireland play Italy in the 1994 World Cup on television in the rural village of Loughinisland.

------

2010: And here are the teams for Italy vs. Ireland:

Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Ignazio Abate, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Federico Balzaretti, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Thiago Motta, Daniele De Rossi, Antonio Di Natale, Antonio Cassano.

Ireland: Shay Given, John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St. Ledger, Stephen Ward, Aiden McGeady, Glenn Whelan, Keith Andrews, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle.

------

2002: Here are the lineups for Croatia vs. Spain:

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa, Ivan Strininc, Vedran Corluka, Gordon Schildenfeld, Domagoj Vida, Danijel Pranjic, Ivan Rakitic, Ognjen Vukojevic, Luka Modric, Darijo Srna, Mario Mandzukic.

Spain: Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Fernando Torres.

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

GlobeSoccer on Twitter

    Waiting for Twitter...
Follow our twitter accounts