Euro 2008 Capsules
BERN, Switzerland (AP)—A three-goal second half lifted the Netherlands to a 4-1 rout of France on Friday night for a place in the European Championship’s quarterfinals.
The Dutch romped past both 2006 World Cup finalists in Group C, beating Italy 3-0 before outclassing the French. Substitute Arjen Robben set up one goal and scored another. Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt and Wesley Sneijder also scored.
The only goal the 1988 Euro champions have conceded came from Thierry Henry, who scored his record 45th goal for France in the 71st minute.
With a second classic performance in as many games, the Dutch again produced the sparkle any championship craves. And the second Dutch goal will be cherished by the Netherlands for years, while it haunts the aging French defense.
After Kuyt gave the Netherlands the lead in the ninth minute with a header from a corner kick, Van Persie finished off an attack in the 59th.
Ruud van Nistelrooy spun some magic with close footwork to send Robben down the left on a counterattack. The winger outran the opposition, bided his time and saw Van Persie make a run on the right. Van Persie pushed Robben’s pass past Gregory Coupet for the second and winning goal.
Romania 1, Italy 1
ZURICH, Switzerland (AP)—Italy once again called on its star goalkeeper, and Gianluigi Buffon came through.
Buffon saved a late penalty kick by Adrian Mutu.
Daniel Niculae was dragged down in the area by Christian Panucci in the 80th minute. Buffon, a key performer for Italy’s World Cup champions two years ago, dived left and reached back with his hand to stop Mutu’s shot, and the ball then deflected away off the goalkeeper’s leg.
That spectacular save, and several other stops by Buffon, held off the Romanians, who often carried play in the Group C game. Romania now has two points and Italy one, with one game remaining.
Mutu gave Romania the lead in the 55th minute off a defensive mistake by Gianluca Zambrotta. It took the Italians only one minute to reply. Panucci equalized from close range off a corner kick that was headed toward him by Giorgio Chiellini.