Another day, another two games from Euro 2008. Today, it's Group C, aka "The Group of Death" (there's one in every soccer tournament). The first match is Italy vs. Romania, followed by France vs. Netherlands. If you're stuck at work and away from a TV, check back here for some updates and (hopefully) videos of the goals (assuming we get some) as the day goes on. First up, Italy and Romania.
4:57pm - Thanks for hanging out today. Here's the final video, where the Dutch make it 4-1:
4:55pm - Sorry for the delay, but here are videos. France made it 2-1, only to have have the Dutch score about 30 seconds later:
4:46pm - For France, this now means they have to beat Italy in their final group game to stand any chance of moving on.
4:38pm - That does it. The Dutch have officially won Group C ("The Group of Death"). They beat Italy, the 2006 World Cup champion, 3-0, and just defeated France, the 2006 runner-up, 4-1. Very, very impressive beginning to Euro 2008 for the Netherlands. Stay tuned for videos...
4:35pm - GOAL! A fourth goal from the Dutch? Sure, why not. An unreal goal by Sneijder -- a blast that had no chance of being stopped.
4:33pm - Here's video of the second goal scored by the Netherlands:
4:29pm - Great chance their for France, with a free-kick from about 6-yards out from the box. Ribéry bends it up over the wall, but can't get it to dove back down before it sails over the net. In the 88th minute, the French still trail by two goals.
4:25pm - A header from van Nistelrooy lobbed over the keeper nearly made it 4-1, but Coupet tracked it down just before it bounced into the goal.
4:21pm - A little more than 10 minutes left in regular time here, and France needs a miracle to earn a draw.
4:17pm - Catch you breath yet? Just an amazing series of events there. France had thought they had played themselves back into this match, and then literally just seconds later, the Dutch squashed any French hopes with a highlight-goal. I'm working on the videos now...
4:14pm - GOAL! WOW! Before I could type about Henry scoring, the Dutch stormed down the pitch and Robben put in goal from a ridiculous angle, blasting it over the keeper's head. Two games, and three goals for the Dutch (and counting). They lead here now, 3-1.
4:13pm - GOAL! It's not over yet. France stays alive with a goal here in the 71st minute. Scored by Henry, of course.
4:00pm - GOAL! The Dutch may have just put this game away with another goal, an absolutely brilliant play. Netherlands are easily the most exciting team in Euro 2008 so far. Robben tears down the left side and crosses to Van Persie who one-times the ball on a line off the keeper's glove and it trickles over the goal line. The play was started with an unreal play by van Nistelrooy to keep the ball in play. Netherlands leads, 2-0.
3:59pm - From someone who knows more about soccer than me: "The Netherlands make a bold change, with Arsenal forward Robin van Persie replacing goalscorer Dirk Kuyt. Looks like it'll be the classic Dutch 4-3-3 from here on in."
3:55pm - Henry just broke away from the Dutch defense to find himself ono-on-one with the keeper, but his flick over the goalie's head was too strong and sailed over the net. A blown chance for the French.
3:51pm - High drama in the box. Netherlands may have just gotten away with a handball in the 6-yard box. Henry gathered a loose ball and sent it toward the net, but a Dutch defender threw himself in the ball's path, deflecting it away. Certainly looked like he stopped it with his arm. France may have missed a chance for a PK.
3:48pm - We're back and playing some soccer here in the second half. Henry made things happen for France in the early going, earning France a corner-kick.
3:36pm - Sorry for delay, was tied up in a conference call (I'm so important!). Anyway, we're at the half right now, and Netherlands leads 1-0. Here's the goal from earlier in the match:
2:54pm - GOAL! The Netherlands have continued their scorching play at Euro 2008 with a goal here in the 9th minute. Off a corner, Kuyt rose and headed it into the right corner of the net for an early 1-0 Dutch lead.
2:46pm - And we're under way here. In a surprising move, France immediately surrendered and left the pitch.
2:28pm - Welcome back, by the way, for game two of today's action. The Dutch are coming off a shocking 3-0 rout of World Champion Italy, while the French played to a 0-0 draw with Romania. Earlier today, Italy and Romania ended with one goal each, meaning a win here for the Netherlands and they'll advance to the final eight. Kick-off from Berne, Austria, is just a little more than 10 minutes away.
2:20pm - We're awaiting the day's big match, France and Netherlands. The big news pre-game is that French striker Thierry Henry is in the starting lineup after missing the match with Romania with thigh injuries.
1:55pm - Video of the foul, and then Buffon's game-saving stop:
1:52pm - And that's it, as the final whistle blows. The game ends in a 1-1 draw, meaning Italy is going to have to defeat France on Tuesday, in what will be a rematch of the 2006 World Cup final.
1:49pm - We're in stoppage time now, three minutes of it. Still 1-1. Video of Buffon's save coming.
1:39pm - Mutu lines up for the PK...SAVE! BUFFON MADE THE SAVE! Unbelievable stop by Italy's keeper there, keeping his team alive in the Euro 2008, just minutes after he was handed the captain's armband.
1:39pm - WOW. Romania was just awarded a penalty kick, after Italy's Panucci took down a man in the box, going for a loose ball. Questionable, to say the least.
1:33pm - Diving stop made by Lobont, off a headed shot by Italy's De Rossi. It remains 1-1.
1:31pm - A long volley onto net by Italy is handled safely by Romanian keeper Lobont, but it certainly appeared as though he caught the ball behind the line. Very scary moment there for the Romanians.
1:30pm - Romania had the Italians on their heels for a bit there; as Tommy Smyth said, "The Romanians will just not go away."
1:22pm - In the 64th minute now, and Italy will no doubt be on the offensive, desperate for the win. (Note: Videos aren't working right now; I'll try and get some posted as soon as I can.)
1:15pm - GOAL! Well, that was quick. Italy wasted no time in finding the equalizer. Off a corner,
Tamas Chiellini headed the ball into the 6-yard box, where Contra Panucci tucked it into the left corner with his left foot (unknown if he used ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A), drawing the Italians even, 1-1.
1:14pm - GOAL! Romania takes advantage of an Italian miscue to take a 1-0 lead. The Italian defender Zambrotta headed down a long-ball, trying to play it back to his keeper, but Romania's Mutu pounced on it and drilled it past Buffon.
1:05pm - And we're back, as the second half is officially under way. After further review, it was pretty clear that Italy was in fact NOT offsides on their goal during the extra time. A missed call by the official -- will it come back to cost the Italians?
12:49pm - And that'll do it for the first half. Italy, in dire need of a win, find itself in a 0-0 draw with Romania at the intermission.
12:47pm - Goal for Italy? Nope. The offsides flag was up (perhaps questionably). Italy's Toni headed in the back of the net, but was ruled to be offsides. Italy might have just been robbed of a goal.
12:45pm - Three minutes of extra time now. Still 0-0.
12:40pm - The Azzurri are absolutely peppering the Romanians with attacks and shots. So far, keeper Lobont and the Romanian defense are up for the challenge.
12:39pm - Italy's Perrotta just found himself right in front of the net, but never was able to control the headed-pass and lost control. Italy corner coming.
12:31pm - Del Piero was taken down from behind just outside the box. Free kick for Italy coming, but it sails over the net.
12:28pm - Rat has recovered nicely, as he just let go an absolutely blast from about 30-yards out. Buffon was late in getting there, but fortunately for the Italian keeper, it whistled just wide-right.
12:21pm - Scary moment for Romania, as Rat and Mirel Radoi collide head-first. Radoi has to be taken off on the medical cart. (His name is Rat?)
12:19pm - Another free-kick for Romania, and another near goal, this time off the inside of the left post.
12:18pm - Buffon makes another great save off a Romanian free-kick to keep this match scoreless in the 18th minute.
12:15 - A great counter-attack by Romania, as Mutu tore down the left side and found himself with a clear line to the net, but Buffon was up to the task and volleyed away Mutu's shot.
12:13 pm - A little more than 13 minutes in, and the Italians have dominated thus far, possessing the ball in the Romanian half seemingly the whole match.
12:09pm - So close for Italy. After a great ball played ahead, Del Piero put a ehader on goal that just skimmed off the right post.
12:04pm - Good chance there for Italy, with the day's first corner, but the ball sailed harmlessly through the box.
12:00pm - The anthems are done, and we're underway in the 13th match...of the the 13th Euro tournament...on Friday, the 13th.
11:53am - The big news so far is that Italy has made five changes to their lineup since the last game.
So, big changes for the Azzurri. Materazzi and Gattuso are probably the biggest casualties, although Internazionale defender Materazzi might not even have started the Netherlands game if it hadn't been for the injury to regular captain Fabio Cannavaro. Del Piero takes the armband from goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and will look to build on an impressive season for Juventus that saw him top the Serie A scoring charts.
11:46am - This is a very important match for the Italians, because if they lose, they're done. The 2006 World Cup champions are coming off a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the Dutch, and will be desperate for a win. This does not bode well for Romania, who played France to a 0-0 draw on Monday.