Italy beat Republic to progress

Italy beat Republic to progress

Italy earned the victory they needed against an already eliminated Republic of Ireland to go through to the last eight of Euro 2012.

Ireland started with purpose but went behind when Antonio Cassano headed in a near post Andrea Pirlo corner.

An equaliser would have knocked Italy out and their keeper Gianluigi Buffon smartly saved a Keith Andrews strike.

Andrews was sent off for a second booking before Mario Balotelli volleyed in to settle Italian nerves.

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