Italy 2 Republic of Ireland 0 – Balotelli scores after Andrews sees red
The Republic of Ireland were underdogs after being drawn in the same group as Spain, Italy and Croatia, with the boys in green failing to claim a single point in Group C after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Azzurri on Monday night.
June 18th, 2012
It was an improved performance from the Irish compared to their previous two matches although they failed to create any chances of note and conceded two typically soft goals which means the figure 9 in the goals against column.
Giovanni Trapattoni made just one change to the side that had been thrashed 4-0 by Spain, with Kevin Doyle joining Robbie Keane in the Ireland attack and the Republic did enjoy plenty of possession without being able to make an impact.
Italy were ahead in the 35th minute when Antonio Cassano’s header from a corner bounced off the crossbar and over the line before being cleared by the Irish defence. Even so, the Turkish referee correctly adjudged that a goal had been scored.
Ireland pressed for an equaliser in the second half which would have seen the Azzurri out of Euro 2012, although Keith Andrews was given a second yellow card towards the end of the match and moments later Italy were out of sight when Mario Balotelli hooked the ball home.