Spain wins easily over Ireland, while Italy dominates Croatia in every way but the score, leaving the Italians an uphill fight to qualify for the quarter-finals.
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Irish defender Richard Dunne (L) battles with Spanish midfielder David Silva (C) during the Euro 2012 championships football match Spain vs Republic of Ireland on at the Gdansk Arena. AFP
Torres double ends Ireland Euro dream
Spanish forward Fernando Torres runs with the ball during the match between Spain vs Republic of Ireland. AFP
A double by Fernando Torres inspired defending champions Spain to a 4-0 thrashing of Ireland on Thursday in their Euro 2012 Group C match in Gdansk, Poland and ended Irish hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Ireland struggled constantly to cope with the torrent of Spanish attacks as Torres proved he is back to his best with two clinically-taken goals.
"This was a very good win for us," said Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.
"We brought in Torres to score goals, which is what he did.
Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews admitted it had been a torrid night.
"We were chasing shadows," he said.
Chelsea star Torres rewarded the Spanish fans with the opening goal after just four minutes.
With Spain on the attack, Ireland defender Richard Dunne tackled Silva on the edge of the (penalty) area, but Torres pounced on the loose ball and drilled his shot past Given from a tight angle.
That ended the first-half scoring, but four minutes after the break, a long-range shot from Iniesta was parried by Given, but fell into Silva's path, who jinked his way around defenders to roll his shot calmly past Given.
The third goal came when Silva released Torres, who raced away from Dunne and slotted home his shot on 70 minutes to give Given no chance before the Spaniard made way for Cesc Fabregas four minutes later.
The Barcelona star, who scored the equaliser against Italy, again showed his class as he drilled home his shot from a tight angle for Spain's fourth.
Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic (C) scores past Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (top) during a Euro 2012 championships football match at the Municipal Stadium in Poznan. It was Mandzukic's third goal of Euro 2012. AFP
Meanwhile in Poznan, Poland Croatia held Italy to a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2012 Group C clash at the Municipal Stadium to boost their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Italy totally dominated the first period and went in at the break a goal to the good through a sumptuous Andrea Pirlo free-kick.
Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic (L) battles with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during the Euro 2012 championships football match. AFP
But a defensive error allowed Mario Mandzukic to equalise in the final 20 minutes and keep Croatia at the top of the group on four points.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said his side didn't exploit their first half domination.
"When you're on top and playing well you have to kill off the game," he said.
"We know that one cross or a deflection can cancel out everything you've done. You have to close out the game, we need to be more clinical and determined."
Italy will now need to beat Ireland in their final group game and hope that the result in Croatia's game against Spain is kind to them if they are to progress. AFP
double – achieving two of something, in this case, scoring two goals
inspire – to give people a particular feeling or a desire to do somethng จุดประกาย
defending champion – a player or team who won a competition the previous time it was held ผู้ชนะเลิศครั้งก่อน
thrash – to defeat an opponent very easily in a game or competition เฆี่ยน
qualify – to be of a high enough standard to enter a competition; to defeat another person or team in order to enter or continue in a competition เข้ารอบ, ทำให้มีคุณสมบัติ
quarter-finals – competitions between the last eight competitors remaining in a tournament การแข่งขันก่อนรอบบรองชนะเลิศ
struggle – a difficult fight or an attempt to defeat someone การต่อสู้เพื่อความอยู่รอด
constantly – continuously; all the time อย่างต่อเนื่อง
cope – to deal successfully with a difficult situation รับมือกับ
torrent – a large amount of water (or this case, attacks) flowing rapidly and violently กระแสน้ำเชี่ยว,การไหลพุ่
prove – to show that something is true พิสูจน์
clinical – very skilful and effective ซึ่งมีทักษะ, ซึ่งมีความชำนาญ, อย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
torrid – very difficult ยากมาก
shadow – the dark shape that somebody/something's form makes on a surface, for example on the ground, when they are between the light and the surface เงา, ร่มเงา
rewarded – receiving something given in exchange for good behaviour or good work, or, in this case, supporting a team, etc ได้รับรางวัล
tackle – (in football ( soccer ), hockey, etc.) to try and take the ball from an opponent เข้าแย่งลูก
pounce – to quickly jump on or hold someone or something มีปฎิกิริยาอย่างรวดเร็ว
loose – not under control ไม่ถูกควบคุม
drill – to kick or hit a ball hard ยิงทะลุ
tight angle – having little open space มุมแคบ
long-range – not close; from a long distance ระยะไกล
parry – to defend yourself against somebody who is attacking you by pushing their arm, weapon, etc. to one side ปัดป้อง
jink – to move quickly while changing direction suddenly and often, especially in order to avoid somebody/something หลบหลีกอย่างรวดเร็ว
release – to allow someone to go free, in this case, to move past a defender towards the goal ปล่อย
home – (in football) the goal ประตู
slot – to put something into a space that is available ใส่ลงในช่อง
slot home – to put the ball in the call, especially through a tight space ยิงเข้าประตู
equaliser – (in football) a goal that makes the score of both teams equal
class – an elegant quality or a high level of skill that is impressive สิ่งที่ดีเยี่ยม
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
clash – a fight between groups of people การปะทะกัน
boost – to increase เพิ่ม
dominate – to be in control ครอบคลุม ควบคุม
sumptuous –very impressive สุรุ่ยสุร่าย
exploit – to use for your own benefit หาประโยชน์จาก
cross – (in football) the action of kicking the ball from one side of the field to someone in the middle or on the other side เตะบอลขวางสนาม
deflection – the action of making something move in a different direction, especially by hitting it การเปลี่ยนแปลงทิศทาง
determined – wanting to do something very much and not letting anyone or any difficulties stop you ตั้งใจจริง, ซึ่งมุ่งมั่น
progress – to move to the next level of a competition เข้ารอบ