Jun 18, 2012 02:11 PM EDT
Group C of Euro 2012 concludes today with Italy vs. Republic of Ireland. The two teams are in third and fourth place in the group respectively, and although Ireland are already eliminated, Italy need to claim victory to have any chance of making it through to the quarter finals. The game will kick off at 2.45 p.m. EST and will be live on ESPN 2, and also can be watched online through live stream on ESPN 3 (details below).
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Although Ireland have nothing but pride to play for, they are not a side to just roll over, and they will love nothing more than taking Italy down with them. Today's game incidentally takes place exactly 18 years following Ireland's memorable victory against Italy on June 18, 1994. That was Ireland's first ever win against the Italians and came as one of the major shocks of World Cup 1994.
Since then the teams have faced each other another four times, with Italy only managing to win once in those encounters. If Ireland can claim the win today, they will leapfrog Italy into third spot, and leave the Azzurri bottom of Group C.
Even if Italy win today, if the other group game between Spain and Croatia ends in a 2-2 draw then the Italians are out no matter how much they win by today.
So far Italy have disappointed, drawing both of their opening two games, leaving them stuck with just two points from two games.
The Netherlands were one of the tournament's favorites, having scored more goals than any other team during qualifying, however, they were knocked out Sunday. The Italians could go the same way. They were one of the tournament's favorites, having qualified for Euro 2012 unbeaten. However, they unbelievably are still without a win in 2012 so far.
Italy vs. Ireland is live on ESPN 2, or can be watched online through live streaming on ESPN 3 by clicking HERE.
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