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EM: Italy, France, Holland and Romania
<h>Italy 2 -- France 0</h> The vaunted Italy--France matchup went awry early for France as Franck Ribéry injured himself on a bad tackle and had to leave the game in the tenth minute.<fn> Then, with their offensive duo of Henry-Ribéry cut in half, Eric Abidal pulled Luca Toni down in the box, giving Italy a penalty kick and earning himself a red card. Pirlo converted the penalty to put Italy in the lead 1--0. Italy looked quite strong and confident on the attack, using a good passing game through the middle to create chances again and again, though Luca Toni failed to capitalize when he should have. France stormed onto the field in the second half but, with only ten men, their advantage was limited and Italy slowly but surely seized back control, going up 2--0 on a long free kick by DeRossi. The final twenty minutes featured only offensive action from the Italians, with the French feeling the weight of their missing man and the impending loss. The French side was not very impressive in any of their matches and rightfully finished at the bottom of their group. <h>Holland 2 -- Romania 0</h> Again, with both games played at the same time, it was hard to get a feel for this game, but with two goals against the vaunted Romanian defense, Ned just keeps on rolling. I pity the fool that has to play them next. <hr> <ft>Even worse, he had to go to the hospital to find out whether he broke his leg or not.</ft>