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France 0-2 Italy & Netherlands 2-0 Romania
Zurich/Berne, 17 June 2008
606 debate | Blog



EURO 2008 GROUP C
France 0-2 Italy Match report
Netherlands 2-0 Romania Match report

NETHERLANDS AND ITALY QUALIFY

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE
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By Caroline Cheese

2209: The Dutch appear to be having some sort of Champagne Moment competition. Robin van Persie almost clinched it by nonchalantly bringing the ball down in the box before seeing a fierce low shot brilliantly saved by the Romania keeper. Then the Arsenal striker bettered that three minutes from time by nonchalantly bringing the ball down in the box, taking a couple of touches and crashing in a rasping shot. Stunning.

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Van Persie's Dutch delight

2201: Right, Champagne time. Numero uno is Eric Abidal's calamitous tackle on Luca Toni followed by Andrea Pirlo's cool-as-you-like penalty - the moment Italy took a grip on second place in Group C, and one that summed up France's disastrous Euro 2008.

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Pirlo's penalty puts Italy in control

2155: Should you be planning your TV viewing for the quarter-finals, I have some exciting breaking news for you. The BBC will show Croatia v Turkey on Friday and Spain v Italy on Sunday. Portugal v Germany on Thursday and Netherlands v Sweden or Russia on Saturday will be on the button marked '3' on your remote control.

2152: Robin van Persie takes the Player Rater honours in Berne with 7.73, although Ibrahim Afellay and Arjen Robben run him pretty close.
Netherlands v Romania player rater

2149: Italy's Andrea Pirlo, who pulled all the strings for the world champions tonight, deservedly tops that game's Player Rater on 7.21. As predicted, Eric Abidal, who was having a torrid time even before he was sent off after 24 minutes, is trailing on 2.62.
France v Italy player rater

2141: Remember when Adrian Mutu put Romania 1-0 up against Italy on Friday? A scoreline which would have sent the world champions out of Euro 2008? Remember when Gianluigi Buffon pulled off the most mind-boggling penalty save to stop Mutu scoring a late penalty to make it 2-1 to the Romanians? Unbelievable this Euro 2008, unbelievable.

2138: FULL-TIME France 0-2 Italy

2138: FULL-TIME Netherlands 2-0 Romania

2138: Brilliant save from Gregory Coupet, pushing Luca Toni's fierce shot onto the post. All in vain though.

2137: We're into added time in both games.

2136: "Poor France. The reason they aren't going through is because Jupiter isn't aligned with Saturn. . . .or so Domenech would have you believe."
Stefan, Newcastle, via text on 81111

2134: The Netherlands become only the sixth side in European Championship history to win all three group games. But hear this: only France (1984) have gone on to win the tournament.

2131: GOAL Netherlands 2-0 Romania
Robin van Persie puts the seal on it, controlling the cross from the right and then smashing the ball into the top of the net at the near post.

2130: Not sure if this will make Thierry Henry feel much better - but Italy's second goal has now been given back to Daniele de Rossi.

2128: Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is on for Holland which means every player in the Dutch squad bar the third-choice keeper has had some pitch-time in Switzerland. There follows some rare pressure on the Dutch goal but Adrian Mutu's shot is blocked.

2127: Gennaro Gattuso is substituted for Italy - and as he runs off, he turns to the fans and thumps his chest. Gattuso is suspended from the next game - which will be against Spain. Providing there's no late Turkey-Czech Republic style drama of course.

2124: "Re 2116: all Domenech is missing is an umbrella to hide under! It's the end of an era for the French. Makelele, Thuram etc must retire and they've got to rebuild the team."
James, Nottingham, via text on 81111

2121: William Gallas is limping - but he'll carry on. Italy are just stroking the ball around in midfield, running down the clock. This is a gut-wrenching end to the tournament for France but they have been poor.

2119: Karim Benzema gives Gianluigi Buffon the chance to show why he's the best keeper in the world. The Italy keeper palms away Benzema's curling effort.

2116: "Domenech makes Steve McClaren look like Arrigo Sacchi."
Blue Yahooze on 606
Join the debate on 606

2113: "On this most crucial of nights, the key issue remains the identity of the be-headphoned lady that anon (see 1959) spotted earlier. She's a honey!"
Danno via text on 81111
Seriously, can we just focus on the foot... ooh, look, there's Del Piero sitting on the Italian bench.

2112: Nicolas Anelka is on for France - not exactly the kind of inspirational figure you need in these situations, I would suggest.

2106: GOAL France 0-2 Italy
Free-kick 35 yards out and it's teed up for Daniele de Rossi to let fly, his fierce effort taking a massive deflection off France skipper Thierry Henry to beat Gregory Coupet.

2106: Luca Toni is one on one with the keeper all of a sudden but the Italian striker looks like he's running through treacle and Gregory Coupet is out to clear.

2104: Daniel Niculae is on for Romania, Marius Niculae (no relation) is off. Striker for a striker.

2103: If Italy go through to the quarters -which it looks like they will - they'll have to do without Gennaro Gattuso and playmaker Andrea Pirlo. Gattuso joined Pirlo in the book shortly before that Holland goal and both have now incurred a one-game ban.

2101: The news of that goal reaches the big screen in Zurich and there's a huge roar from the Italy fans. It means their team can afford to draw this game and still go through.

2059: GOAL Netherlands 1-0 Romania
Ibrahim Afellay crosses from the right, Orlando Engelaar steps over it and Klaas Jan Huntelaar slots in. Bad news for Romania. Good news for Italy.

2057: Thierry Henry wants to do it all on his own, tricking his way past a couple of players before scuffing a low shot into Gianluigi Buffon's arms.

2055: Karim Benzema thrashes a volley high and wide. Decent pressure from 10-man France. France must win to have any chance of going through - but an equaliser would knock Italy out and rescue Romania - providing they don't lose to the Dutch.

2054: Robin van Persie brings down the ball in the area, turns and fires in a decent low shot which is brilliantly saved by Romania keeper Bogdan Lobont.

2052: Yellow for Sidney Govou for diving in on Fabio Grosso.

2050: And that's what you call urgency. Romania Adrian Mutu has an immediate pop at goal from 35 yards but it's easily saved by stand-in Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

2050: The men with the walkie-talkies get the message to the referees and we're up and away in a crucial 45 minutes.

2049: The referee in Zurich has all the players lined up and counted... then realises he has to wait for the second half in Berne to start.

2048: "As it stands, Romania are in the very unfortunate position of going through the Group of Death unbeaten... and going out. Come on Mutu and co, let's have some justice! Neither France nor Italy have done enough to deserve a place in the quarters."
Chris, Andover, via text on 81111

2045: "I believe it was a clear penalty, but not the red card. We're here to enjoy the game. It's not easy for Eric Abidal, he's normally on the left side, it's hard for him and he made a mistake."
BBC Sport analyst Marcel Desailly

2042: "You can malign Domenech as much as you want. My heart goes out to him. I really feel for him, because everything that could have gone wrong in the first 20 minutes did go wrong."
BBC Sport analyst Martin O'Neill

2038: As ever, scoring a goal is all you need to race to the top in Player Rater. Andrea Pirlo's cool spot-kick earns him 6.97. Eric Abidal is lagging on 4.24 - a mark which can only get worse. The star of the show in the other game is Dutch winger Arjen Robben on a whopping 8.54.
France v Italy player raterNetherlands v Romania player rater

2036: "I never fancied Eric Abidal at left-back and he's even worse at centre-back. He made two horrific mistakes in the first 20 minutes, the second of which was to give away the penalty."
BBC Sport analyst Alan Hansen

2035: HALF-TIME France 0-1 Italy

2034: Deafening whistles from the Italy fans as Patrice Evra stays down after a challenge. The French left-back has to go off after treatment but skips straight back on again.

2032: HALF-TIME Netherlands 0-0 Romania

2031: No wait, it was a quite brilliant save from France keeper Gregory Coupet to push Grosso's free-kick onto the post. Andrea Pirlo is booked for a rash foul on Karim Benzema - and is out of the quarter-final, should they get there.

2029: Daniele de Rossi beats Jeremy Toulalan with a lovely turn and is promptly brought down by the French midfielder. Fabio Grosso hits the bottom of the post with a brilliant free-kick. Yes, brilliant.

2027: "Re 2021: Just goes to show the quality of that league. Don't forget that is the country that encourages David Hasselhoff to keep making records."
Craig from Preston, via text on 81111

2024: Free-kick for France. Thierry Henry lets Karim Benzema take it and the youngster rams it straight into the wall. Bet Benzema won't take the next one.

2023: Lovely move from the Netherlands. Demy de Zeeuw plays the ball into Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who sets up Arjen Robben. His shot goes just past the upright.

2021: My brilliant colleague Danny the Stat has just pointed out that the top goalscorers in the Bundesliga last season were none other than... Luca Toni and Mario Gomez, with 43 goals between them.

2019: Khalid Boulahrouz cuts the ball back for Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who lifts his shot narrowly over the bar. Meanwhile in Zurich, Thierry Henry shoots just wide.

2017: Adrian Mutu seems to have got the message for Romania. He gets enough power on a 22-yard shot but it goes a yard wide.

2016: Luca Toni could have had five goals already. He's causing the France defence all sorts of bother but just can't find a finish. He's through twice in a minute but shoots wide on both occasions. I'm thinking Emile Heskey...

2015: "The Romanian fans have gone quiet… the Italy v France scoreline just flashed up on the big screen."
BBC Sport's Mark Bright

2014: Antonio Cassano whips the cross in from the right and Luca Toni flicks the ball just wide of the post.

2012: Samir Nasri's game lasts, what, 20 minutes? He's the man to make way as Raymond Domenech shores up the defence with Jean-Alain Boumsong. Can things get any worse for France?

2010: GOAL France 0-1 Italy
Andrea Pirlo sticks the kick in the top corner and, as it stands, Italy are going through to the quarter-finals.

2009: RED CARD France
Eric Abidal is off after hauling down Luca Toni as he charges through on goal. Andrea Pirlo will take the kick.

2009: Penalty to Italy.

2008: Holland striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar is almost through on goal as he chests down a ball but Cosmin Contra gets a toe in to divert the ball onto his arm - and the handball is spotted by referee Massimo Busacca.

2004: Keeper Gregory Coupet flaps unconvincingly at an Andrea Pirlo corner but France just about survive.

2003: The camera pans over to the Dutch bench and a row of players put their jerseys over their noses. Who dealt it?

2001: Like France and Italy before them, the Dutch are finding the solid Romanian defence hard to crack.

1959: "There's a really attractive lady sitting behind Raymond Domenech with some headphones on. Anyway..."
Anon via text on 81111
Honestly... Ooh, look, there's Thierry Henry. Mmmm...

1957: Users of our Player Rater will tell you that the injury to Franck Ribery is very bad news for France. He's been the top-ranked French player throughout the tournament, with an average of 6.54.
France v Italy player rater

1956: France are reeling but it's Claude Makelele to the rescue as he clears Christian Panucci's header off the line from a corner.

1955: Thierry Henry looks very, very worried about his French team-mate as Ribery is driven off the field. Samir Nasri is on.

1953: Uh-oh. Franck Ribery needs treatment after a clash with Gianluca Zambrotta. It wasn't a bad challenge, the French winger just seemed to fall awkwardly. The stretcher on wheels is out and Ribery's game - and possibly tournament - is over.

1951: "Is Luca Toni the new Mario Gomez?"
eldeano on 606
Oh come on, he's not that bad.

1950: Adrian Mutu's cross ends up falling to Marius Niculae who unleashes a shot which goes just wide.

1950: What a chance. Eric Abidal makes an awful mess of dealing with a long ball from the Italian defence, and Luca Toni is in - but screws his shot wide.

1947: Franck Ribery has the first shot... but Italy easily block and it's a corner. The wet conditions mean it's surely worth testing out these keepers.

1946: The Dutch players are forced to wait in the centre circle for ages as a Uefa official finds out via phone whether the France-Italy game has kicked off. And we're off...

1943: Jonny Heitinga skippers the Netherlands line-up tonight, and by the way, Inverness striker Maruis Niculae starts for Romania tonight.

1941: Here come the players then, and in Zurich, we're treated to two of the finest national anthems in the world with the French and Italian... er, tunes.

1938: Desailly also seems to suggest that Willy Sagnol has been left out for the same reason as Thuram - and he reveals Zidane is in Zurich. Shame he's not playing really...

1937: "It looks like Thuram felt he wasn't ready to handle the game. It's a pressure game for him - because people said he didn't play well in the last game, which is true."
BBC Sport analyst Marcel Desailly

1935: "That missed Mutu penalty against Italy has never been so crucial. Poor Mutu. He's gonna be so depressed if Romania go out tonight..."
@danny muttley on 606
Join the debate on 606

1934: "I've been very disappointed with both Italy and France - but especially the French."
BBC Sport analyst Alan Hansen

1926: Thanks George (via text on 81111), you're right, I was getting a bit over-excited. Patrice Evra is unlikely to play in midfield. Eric Abidal will have to play in central defence though... I think?

1924: "Re 1910: I'm gonna tell my boss I'm not in the right frame of mind tomorrow, wonder if it works?"
flames08 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1922: "Thuram is/was the BEST defender the modern game produced, just ahead of Maldini."
ForzaNapole!!! on 606
Join the debate on 606

1920: Italy also make some interesting changes. Antonio Cassano and Gennaro Gattuso start. Mauro Camoranesi and Alessandro del Piero do not.

1915: Rumour reaches me that Liliam Thuram has been dropped by France because he has told the coach he's not in the right frame of mind to play. Cripes. Willy Sagnol is also dropped. Francois Clerc and Eric Abidal are recalled in defence, so it looks like Patrice Evra will play in midfield. In attack, Karim Benzema replaces Florent Malouda.

1910: I don't want you to think I'm becoming at all exasperated... but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop texting/posting on 606 to ask what happens if Romania, France and Italy all finish on same points, goal difference and goals scored. ITALY WILL GO THROUGH OK? It's because of their superior co-efficient (record in qualifying for the last two major tournaments). Thank you.

1905: "Enough conspiracy chat. Holland have earned the right to field whatever side they like. France and Italy only have themselves to blame."
Neil, Arborfield, via text on 81111

1903: I'm just watching the dress rehearsal of the BBC's opening sequence and it's bringing a tear to my eye. I'm not sure if I'm actually going to be able to cope with tonight.

1901: So Netherlands boss Marco van Basten makes just the nine changes. Forwards Klass Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie begin up front in place of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Dirk Kuyt. Maarten Stekelenburg comes in for regular keeper Edwin van der Sar while flying winger Arjen Robben makes his first start of Euro 2008 for the Dutch. Romania's Mirel Radoi (head injury) and defender Dorin Goian (suspended) are replaced by Banel Nicolita and Gorin Ghionea.

1858: "Oi Cheese what's this about Van Persie and Robben being the second string? Both have just come back from injuries and are easily injured so the wise Van Basten is using them as impact subs. I doubt they'll start tonight, the great man wouldn't risk it. I'm disappointed in you Caroline..."
NLGooner on 606
I'm not saying anything, NLGooner. I will just refer you to the Netherlands line-up.

1857: TEAMS Netherlands v Romania
Netherlands: Stekelenburg, Boulahrouz, Heitinga, Bouma, De Cler, De Zeeuw, Engelaar, Afellay, Van Persie, Robben, Huntelaar. Subs: Van der Sar, Timmer, Ooijer, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst, van Nistelrooy, Sneijder, Melchiot, De Jong, Kuyt, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Van der Vaart.
Romania: Lobont, Contra, Tamas, Ghionea, Rat, Cocis, Codrea, Chivu, Nicolita, Marius Niculae, Mutu. Subs: Popa, Stancioiu, Petre, Marica, Sapunaru, Moti, Cristea, Dica, Daniel Niculae, Radu.

1855: TEAMS France v Italy
France: Coupet, Clerc, Gallas, Abidal, Evra, Govou, Toulalan, Makelele, Ribery, Benzema, Henry. Subs: Mandanda, Frey, Boumsong, Vieira, Malouda, Anelka, Nasri, Thuram, Squillaci, Gomis, Sagnol, Diarra.
Italy: Buffon, Zambrotta, Panucci, Chiellini, Grosso, Pirlo, De Rossi, Gattuso, Toni, Perrotta, Cassano. Subs: Amelia, De Sanctis, Gamberini, Barzagli, Del Piero, Di Natale, Borriello, Ambrosini, Quagliarella, Camoranesi, Aquilani, Materazzi.

1850: Hey Group of Death fans. Don't bank on there being a whole heap o'goals tonight. According to users of our Player Rater, which has been running through the tournament, three of the top five goalkeepers at the tournament could be in action. Look! Here's the proof...

1 Boruc (Poland) average mark 8.37 (3 games)
2 Van der Sar (Holland) 8.14 (2 games)
3 Buffon (Italy) 7.51 (2 games)
4 Runje (Croatia) 7.31 (1 game)
5 Lobont (Romania) 7.1 (2 games)

1845: Rain in Zurich - where Italy and France face off - but looks quite bright in Berne for the other game.

1844: Lots of chat about Marco van Basten fielding a second-string side tonight. Given that Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are part of that second string, I wouldn't be too worried...

1840: Incidentally, if it's an omen you're after, how about the big winner at Ascot today? Henrythenavigator won the St James's Palace Stakes by three-quarters of a length - and if Thierry Henry can navigate himself towards goal... oh, you know the rest.

1837: And while Italy fear a fix - or a biscuit as it's rather brilliantly known in Italy - poor old France seem to have given up the ghost already. "It is already written that Romania will qualify," says gloomy coach Raymond Domenech. France must win tonight to have any chance of going through - a result which they must feel is possible given that they haven't lost to Italy in open play for 30 years.

1833: "Italy and France couldn't beat Romania!!! So why should a reserve Dutch team beat them?? Romania 2-0 Holland."
Next Chelsea Manager on 606
Join the debate on 606

1827: Are Italy desperate? You betcha they are. Former Azzurri coach Arrigo Sacchi has written an open letter to Marco van Basten, essentially begging him to mastermind a Dutch win over Romania. "Dear Marco, we are hoping to be able to give you our thanks not only for the beautiful football that your team is showing but also for the great favour you can do your great friend Roberto Donadoni and all your admirers in Italy."

1822: So the Netherlands are through as Group C winners. That much we do know. Romania will join them in the quarter-finals if they beat Marco van Basten's side in Berne. If Romania don't win, the winner of the Italy v France game in Zurich will pip them. If both games are a draw, Romania will go through. Anything else and a whole host of complicated permutations, detailed below, come into play - but very definitely not a penalty shoot-out.

- If France and Italy share a score draw (1-1, 2-2, 3-3 etc), Italy will go through if Romania lose (by any score). In this scenario, Italy, Romania and France will be level on two points each but Italy would have scored more goals in games between the 3 teams.

- If France and Italy draw 0-0, Romania can lose by one goal, two goals or by a three-goal margin other than 3-0 but still qualify. In this scenario, Italy and Romania would have identical head-to-head records, but Romania would have better goal difference in ALL group matches or, in the case of the three-goal defeats, goals scored. France would finish bottom, having scored fewer goals head-to-head v Italy and Romania.

- If Romania lose 3-0 to the Dutch, Italy would qualify with a 0-0 draw against France because of their superior coefficient points. France would finish bottom as they would have scored fewer goals head-to-head v Italy and Romania.

- If Romania lose by four goals or more and the other game ends 0-0, Italy would proceed with a better overall goal difference than Romania. France would finish bottom as they would have scored fewer goals head-to-head v Italy and Romania.
Group C permutations

1816: Brrring brrring, brrring, brrring… "Hello, Uefa speaking." "Hello Uefa, please could the Group of Death reach a thrilling climax, with both World Cup finalists potentially crashing out?" "No problem." "Thanks Uefa. One more thing… can we have a penalty shoot-out between Italy and France, should they finish level on points, to decide who finishes bottom of the group?" "Yes… Er, no. We mean no."
Uefa rules out Group C shoot-out


Group C
17 June 2008 21:41
    P GD PTS
1 Netherlands 3 8 9
2 Italy 3 -1 4
3 Romania 3 -2 2
4 France 3 -5 1

MATCH STATS: AT A GLANCE

POSSESSION

50% 50%
France Turkey

France

  • 01 Lloris
  • 15 Sagna
  • 20 Mexes
  • 02 Boumsong
  • 03 Abidal
  • 14 Toulalan
  • 06 Diarra
  • 08 Gourcuff
  • 07 Malouda (58 Ribery )
  • 39 Anelka (58 Govou )
  • 10 Benzema (46 Gignac )

Turkey

  • 01 Demirel
  • 19 Uzulmez red card
  • 03 Balta (87 Erkin )
  • 04 Zan
  • 25 Sarioglu (86 Kas )
  • 17 Sanli
  • 06 Topal (74 Yildirim )
  • 14 Turan (79 Simsek )
  • 10 Sahin
  • 11 Erdinc (42 Gungor )
  • 21 Altintop (46 Senturk )

Ref: Manuel Grafe
Att: 32000


MATCH STATS: AT A GLANCE

POSSESSION

31% 69%
Australia Netherlands

Australia

  • 01 Schwarzer
  • 21 Carney
  • 03 Moore (52 Kisnorbo )
  • 02 Neill
  • 04 Cahill (48 Emerton )
  • 05 Culina
  • 08 Wilkshire
  • 13 Grella (16 Valeri yellow card )
  • 14 Holman
  • 10 Kewell
  • 09 Kennedy (47 Vidosic )

Netherlands

  • 01 Stekelenburg
  • 02 Boulahrouz
  • 03 Heitinga
  • 04 Mathijsen
  • 05 Van Bronckhorst (77 Braafheid )
  • 06 De Zeeuw (84 Mendes Da Silva )
  • 08 Schaars yellow card (64 Van der Vaart )
  • 10 Sneijder (69 Engelaar )
  • 07 Kuyt (51 Babel )
  • 09 Huntelaar
  • 11 Elia

Ref: Tojo Minoru
Att: 40537


see also
France team guide
15 May 08 |  France
Italy team guide
15 May 08 |  Italy


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