Italy v Republic of Ireland: How it happened

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Italy v Republic of Ireland: How it happened

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Italy made it through to the knock-out stages thanks to a convincing 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Poznan.

After a relatively slow start to the game, Andrea Pirlo whipped in a dangerous cross to the near post which was met by Antonio Cassano and although Shay Given got a hand to the ball, it had crossed the line before Damien Duff could clear.

Cesare Prandelli’s men then pushed and secured the win in the dying minutes courtesy of a Mario Balotelli wonder goal.

The Manchester City forward, still nursing a minor ankle injury, came off the bench to open his account at the European Championships with a superb volley on the turn giving the goalkeeper no chance.