|Irish Luck Smiles on the Italians - Italy Advances to Quarterfinals||| Print ||
|Written by Larry Aiello|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012 13:49|
Italy Advances in a tense game
Despite not being in control of their own destiny, a little luck of the Irish reigned down on the Italian team as they were able to fend off elimination and beat an Irish team playing solely for pride by the score of 2-0.
The victory is the first in the last 5 attempts by the Italian team. Perhaps it is a turning point in their quest for their second EuroCup Championship, the last one being in 1968.
Italy started a little slow, seeming a little out of sorts. Perhaps the new formation instituted by Coach Prandelli was a little too much to get used to.They started getting in gear around 15 minutes before the end of the first half, and finally Antonio Cassano in the 35th minute headed in a beautiful corner kick by Andrea Pirlo. The Irish goalkeeper got a hand on it, but it bounced into the goal, and then bounced out.
The second half again did not start too well for the Italian team. As it has been all tournament, they looked a little outplayed. The Irish team was able to produce some counter attacks, even though Italy controlled the ball.
It was a tense game that came down to the end. After a red-card to an Irish player, Mario Balotelli was able to put in the second goal in the 90th minute. You can see how much potential this striker has, as he had to fend of a defender off-balance, and was able to do a semi-bicycle kick into the goal. It was a gorgeous score.
However, the Italian team was not able to celebrate right away until the Spanish-Croatia game ended in a 1-0 victory for Spain. Croatia was knocking on the door late in the game, and an equalizing goal would have forced the Italian team to exit the tournament with Croatia advancing.
That was not the case today as a little luck of the Irish smiled down on the Italian team.