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Old 06-14-2008, 10:15 AM
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Default seventh day of euro 2008

Buffon keeps Italy hopes alive

Gianluigi Buffon's late penalty save earned Italy a 1-1 draw with Romania at the Pro Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich that keeps their hopes of progressing to the Euro 2008 knockout phase alive.

Adrian Mutu gave Romania a second-half lead when he punished an error from Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta, but Christian Panucci equalised seconds later.
Mutu was then handed a chance to score the goal that would have knocked Italy out of the tournament when Panucci was penalised for holding Daniel Niculae inside the Italy area, but the Romanian hitman saw his spotkick brilliantly kept out by Buffon.

The result leaves Italy joint-bottom of Group C on one point, meaning they will have to beat France in their final group game to stand any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
The Netherlands's 4-1 victory over France in the evening game means a victory for Romania over Marco van Basten's men will secure their progress to the last eight.
Italy coach Roberto Donadoni made five changes to the side that lost 3-0 to the Netherlands in their opening group game, with Giorgio Chiellini, Fabio Grosso, Daniele De Rossi, Simone Perrotta and captain Alessandro Del Piero all coming into the side.
No doubt spurred on by the memory of that embarrassing defeat, the Azzurri began with real purpose, taking the fight to Romania down the flanks.

Luca Toni was inches away from connecting with Mauro Camoranesi's centre from the left on 13 minutes, but shortly afterwards Mutu tested Buffon for the first time with a left-footed effort from about 15 yards.
So the pattern for the first half was set - Italy pressing, Romania looking to counter-attack - and after Toni had headed Grosso's left-wing cross over the crossbar, Romanian centre-half Gabriel Tamas extended Buffon with a powerfully hit 35-yard free-kick towards the bottom-right corner.
Romania then hit the post when Cristian Chivu's free-kick flicked off Panucci and bounced against the left-hand upright, before Italy redoubled their attacking efforts in the minutes before half-time, with Romania goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont called on to produce a superb flying save to palm Toni's goalbound header around the post.
Toni then put a back-post header beyond Lobont in first-half injury time, but the goal was ruled out for offside despite replays appearing to show that the Bayern Munich forward was onside.
Romania took to the field in the second half knowing a single goal could be enough to send the Italians home, and on 55 minutes they made the breakthrough, with Mutu latching onto a terrible back header from Zambrotta before prodding the ball past Buffon.
But the lead lasted barely a minute as Italy immediately won a corner on the left, Chiellini headed the ball back across goal from the back post and Panucci touched it over the line from close range.

Italy began to attack with increasing urgency, with Lobont pushing away a diving header from De Rossi, but with 10 minutes remaining Romania were given a golden opportunity to send the Italians packing when Panucci was adjudged to have manhandled Niculae inside the penalty area and referee Tom Henning Ovrebo pointed to the spot.
Mutu, who plays for Serie A side Fiorentina, stepped up to drill the ball down the centre of the goal but Buffon stuck out his right hand to make an incredible instinctive save and keep his side in the competition.

Clinical Dutch trounce France
The Netherlands qualified for the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 with a superb 4-1 victory over France at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Berne
Dirk Kuyt's header gave them an early lead, and France spurned a series of chances to equalise before Arjen Robben teed up Robin van Persie for the Netherlands's second.

Thierry Henry halved the deficit with 20 minutes to play, but Robben scored within a minute to put the tie beyond the French and Wesley Sneijder added a fitting coup de grace with a stunning shot into the top-left corner in injury time.
The win puts the Netherlands into the last eight as group winners, while France must beat Italy in their final group game to stand any chance of progressing.
France coach Raymond Domenech made three changes to the side that had been held to a goalless draw by Romania in the group opener, with Patrice Evra, Sidney Govou and Henry all coming into the side.
The Netherlands, quite understandably, kept faith with the same team that had vanquished Italy in such impressive fashion, and with less than 10 minutes on the clock they took the lead when Kuyt outmuscled Florent Malouda to head home Rafael van der Vaart's right-wing corner from close range.
The Dutch quickly hit their passing stride, and France were finding it hard to find a foothold in the game, but on 23 minutes Govou tested Edwin van der Sar with a right-footed effort after being picked out by Willy Sagnol from the right.
And gradually the French began to impose themselves, with first Govou and then Franck Ribery calling Van der Sar into action following breaks down the left-hand side.

Ribery played a low cross across the face of goal and Henry sent a trademark curler wide of the right-hand post as France upped their efforts at the end of the first 45, and after five minutes of the second they felt they should have been awarded a penalty.
Govou's shot from the right landed at Henry's feet at the back post, and his goalbound effort appeared to strike Andre Ooijer on the hand, but referee Herbert Fandel was unmoved.
Henry should have drawn France level shortly afterwards when he raced onto Malouda's pass before lobbing the ball over the crossbar with only Van der Sar beat, and with half an hour to play his profligacy was duly punished when second-half substitutes Robben and Van Persie combined to stunning effect.
Van Nistelrooy released Robben with a delightful pirouette on the halfway line, and the Real Madrid winger surged down the left before crossing for Van Persie to volley home via Coupet's left hand.
Henry finally found the net when he tucked home Sagnol's low cross from the right with 20 minutes to play, but less than a minute later Robben restored his side's two-goal advantage when he latched onto Van der Vaart's through ball before firing the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

The Netherlands continue to threaten on the counter-attack, and after Coupet had batted away a looping goalbound header from Van Nistelrooy, Sneijder fired a right-footer in off the crossbar from 18 yards to cap another irrestistible counter-attacking performance from Marco van Basten's men.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:39 AM
jerseys001 jerseys001 is offline
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:21 PM
xXDeviant xXDeviant is offline
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lol torress all the way
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:09 PM
Dragons99 Dragons99 is offline
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no way :P xd
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