Spain 1-1 Italy
Croatia 3-1 Republic of Ireland
Group C and D were supposedly ‘easy’ to predict. Both had two top (-ish) and two not exactly top teams in. However we could be in for a surprise. All it takes is a confident win and a not so confident win and you’re through.
This was one of the most eagerly awaited games. The reigning European Champions and World Champions versus a team full of controversies but nonetheless good. The game started well enough but gradually became slightly tedious. But suddenly the deadlock was broken by a new substitute and a wonderfully classy goal from di Natale brought the game to 1-0 in Italy’s favour. However, European and World Champions don’t just lay down and take that, and three minutes later, Fabregas brought the score back to evens where it stayed, mainly due to Torres’s inability to convert.
Not much was expected of this Republic of Ireland team so when Croatia scored after two and half minutes, no-one was too surprised. However Ireland were to bring it back to 1-1 with time to spare in the second half. Unfortunately with too much time to spare and the score at half-time was 2-1. A goal just after half-time all but finished game. Republic of Ireland came back strong, had some very, very near misses and a fair number of penalty shouts but not much went their way.
Spain, I doubt will be worried. They lost the first game of the last tournament but still won the final and they’re pretty damn hard-workers. Italy should appreciate the 1 point but can hope for more. The goal scorer di Natale is one to look out for. Balotelli and Torres will both need to up their games to even play again. The Spanish and Italians will be optimistic against the Irish but any shock defeats or draws will go in favour of Croatia who after one game top the group. Andrews of the Republic of Ireland could be a game changer but the Croatian, Spanish and Italian keepers will be hard to beat.