Italy 1-1 Croatia
Spain 4-0 Republic of Ireland
Evens Stevens in my opinion. (And, you know, the score line kind of says that as well.) Italy scored first and while it didn’t seem like Croatia would get back in it, get back in it they did. My favourite di Natale was brought on for Italy near the end, in attempt to at least get one win in this tournament but to no avail. I really enjoyed Italy’s style of football to be honest. It’s not got the beauty of the Spanish or the efficiency of the Germans, but it does have a certain excitability factor. Although maybe that’s just the presence of Mr. Balotelli. Croatia’s football also is very likeable. It’s unfortunate that probably Spain will qualify instead of one of them.
I was going to write something about drowning in a sea of Spanish football and clinging on for hope and then losing it…But then I thought that was rude and disrespectful to a side that could have lost by a lot more than four goals. I didn’t watch a lot of the game. As the commentators stated, ‘It was a hard game to watch,’ and I completely agree. Give them their credit, Spain looked relieved to have a win at the end and didn’t celebrate in front of the Irish. Everyone exchanged pleasantries at the end. Although the score was anything but for the Irish, it was a ‘nice’ ending, especially as the Irish fans were still singing. If you’re interested the first goal came from (gasp) Torres. Then one from Silva followed by another from Torres and the last was a Fabregas (Torres sub) goal in the 82nd minute.
I have enjoyed Italy and Croatia immensely and would love to see them go through. However this would only result from some strange results on Monday. Presumably Spain will qualify and while their football is nothing short of mesmerising, I can’t help but feel, ‘Give someone else a go?’ The Republic of Ireland, while having nothing to play for, can reflect the final standings if they can provide a draw (or win) against the Italians. In fact if they beat the Italians, they will finish above them in the table.