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MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012

Flops at Euro 2012 Russia: The Russians came to the event looking to show who was top regional dog in the first event held behind the former Iron Curtain. After they crushed the Czech Republic with a barnstorming opening display Dick Advocaat’s side looked set for a good run, but... Bert van Marwijk: Stepped down as Netherlands coach after his team’s first round elimination after four years in charge had included the run to the World Cup final.

Humbled Italy praise best team in the world Barnaby Chesterman

KIEV: Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon spoke of his disappointment at having missed out on the Euro 2012 title but said he could only congratulate winners Spain. The world champions were a cut above on the day and romped to a 4-0 thrashing that was accentuated by Italy playing the last half hour a man down after Thiago Motta limped off once coach Cesare Prandelli had already exhausted his substitutions. By then Italy were already two goals down and reduced to virtual spectators, according to midfielder Daniele De Rossi. But for Buffon there was no shame in losing to the best. “For many of our squad it was their first final so that’s why it’s a huge disappointment,” he said. “But it’s also true that in such an important match when there’s the substantial difference that you saw, all you can do is clap your hands and applaud the others.” Buffon said he could only think of one other occasion when he had played in a side so totally dominated: a 3-0 Confederations Cup group

Coach positive after painful final defeat

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espite having seen his team thrashed 4-0 by Spain in Sunday’s Euro 2012 final in Kiev, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said he was proud of their achievements at the tournament. Italy went into the competition in Poland and Ukraine beneath the cloud of a match-fixing scandal, and seeking to atone for an embarrassing group-stage exit at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. After drawing 1-1 with Spain and Croatia in their opening two matches, they grew in strength, beating Ireland 2-0 before edging England on penalties in the quarter-finals and then eliminating strongly fancied Germany in the last four. TW/ AFP

BEAUTY

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stage defeat to Brazil in 2009. “I had a great view of the red waves from the first minute to the last,” said the goalkeeper of Spain’s performance. “They played with great knowledge of being strong and of what they wanted and knowing that they had already won a lot so they knew how to achieve this type of result. “And against a team (Italy) that physically was in the red. “Maybe in the Confederations Cup against Brazil (it was similar), we lost 3-0 and were never in the game, but this is a little different because it was a final.”

Historic Tom Williams

KIEV: Spain confirmed their status as one of the greatest national teams in football history by overwhelming Italy 4-0 in Sunday’s Euro 2012 final in Kiev to retain their European crown. Vicente del Bosque’s team became the first side to successfully defend a European Championship title, as well as the first to win three consecutive major tournaments after their triumphs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. Accused in some quarters of having lost their ability to excite, Spain produced a thrilling demonstration of attacking football to confirm beyond doubt that this remains a

golden age for Spanish football. Andres Iniesta and Xavi were the architects of victory at the Olympic Stadium, playing key roles in goals by David Silva, Jordi Alba and Fernando Torres, who teed up fellow substitute Juan Mata for Spain’s fourth. “After we scored the first goal, Italy were dangerous, but we reacted well,” said Spain coach Del Bosque. “We had possession of the ball, we put pressure on them, and there was depth to our play. So we’re very happy. This success in Spanish football is something historic, and now we have to look to the future and try to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.” The match-winner in the Euro

Postnoon E-Paper for 02 July 2012  

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