We now know two more teams that have advanced to the quarterfinals at Euro 2012.
On Monday, Italy beat Ireland 2-0 and Spain beat Croatia 1-0 to book their tickets for critical knockout games this weekend.
Jesus Navas of Sevilla FC scored in the 88th minute off of a pass by Andres Iniesta. With the win, Spain wins Group C with a record of two wins and a draw.
In second place is Italy, who finished with a record of one win and two draws for a total of five points. The Italians got their goals from AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli. Cassano scored in the first half and Balotelli scored in the second half.
I have two comments from Group C action. How in the world can Croatia be ranked four spots higher in the world than Italy? The Italians have had a more dominant soccer culture than Croatia over the last twenty years, and have been the much better team of the two in the tournament to date.
My other comment was I expected a lot more from Ireland, who were outscored 9-1 over three games. Don’t forget Ireland almost qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as they took France all the way to the limit. They were completely dominated in Group C play and deserved to finish last.