Italy 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Italy made it through to the quarter-finals at Euro 2012 as they defeated the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in Poznan.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli made four changes for a must-win game, bringing in Andrea Barzagli, Ignazio Abate, Federico Balzaretti and Antonio Di Natale, while Damien Duff captained Ireland as he won his 100th cap. The game got off to a lively start, without either side carving out a clear chance, with Di Natale looking a threat in attack for the Azzurri. As the half progressed Ireland started to drop deeper in defence and just past the half-hour mark Sean St Ledger had to clear from close to his own goalline after Di Natale rounded Shay Given. Soon after the Azzurri grabbed the lead as Antonio Cassano rose highest to head home an Andrea Pirlo corner from the left, with the ball crossing the line despite Given getting a hand to it. Italy started brightly after the interval, but they were limited to a couple of long-range efforts which failed to extend Given. For their part Ireland were unable to muster many chances, with Keith Andrews' 25-yard free-kick their best effort. Late on Italy struck for the second time, soon after Andrews was sent off for a second bookable offence and it was sub Mario Balotelli who netted the clincher. The Manchester City striker acrobatically met Alessandro Diamanti's corner from the right and sent a right-foot volley past a stunned Given. News of a late Spain winner against Croatia in Gdansk meant that Italy were definitely through, but only as runners-up in Group C.