Last Updated: 18/06/12 10:45pm
It's all over and Spain have beaten Croatia 1-0 which means Spain and Italy progress to the Euro 2012 last-eight!
We're still playing in the other game and if Croatia equalise against Spain then the Croats will join the Spaniards in the last-eight.
Italy break from the corner and Balotelli has options, but obviously he goes for a goal, with Dunne deflecting it behind for a corner.
Abate aims a stupid challenge on Duff, with Ireland given a free-kick deep in Italy's half with less than a minute left to play.
An extraordinary few minutes as Andrews receives his second yellow and Balotelli fires an overhead kick in from a corner to surely seal Italy's victory.
Andrews is frustrated as he concedes another free-kick against Pirlo, and his fury leads him to being sent off!
Cox almost fed in Walters to perfection but Bonucci read the pass excellently. Italy break as a result but Balotelli's shot is tame and straight at Given.
Diamanti's free-kick hits the wall, with Bonucci then firing well over the bar as Marchisio look to strike someone with his arm in the wall.
Balotelli holds the ball up magically on the edge of the area before going down under St Ledger, which looked a little soft to say the least and it's a free-kick to Italy and a booking for St Ledger.
Duff and Whelan are incensed as Diamanti goes down rather theatrically to win a free-kick in Ireland's half.
Keane is caught offside from Andrews' ball across the turf, but the striker instantly wins back the ball from Pirlo before crossing over the bar. A rollercoaster minute from the striker.
Ward crosses in from the left, with Italy sitting back now as a goal kick is given to the Italians as Keane fails to keep it in.
Andrews' strike is brilliant but Buffon parries well as Chiellini sweeps up. The save from Buffon was incredible as Italy hold on to their lead!
Diamanti takes out Walters, as Italy complain about the decision which was a stone-wall foul. Free-kick to Ireland from 25 yards out as Italy start to show their nerves with 12 minutes left.
O'Shea shows his studs and concedes a free-kick, despite winning the ball from Balotelli. A crazy law.
Long jumps alongside Buffon, his header over, but incredibly a foul is given against the Ireland striker. Not a great decision there.
This is a really good spell for the Republic as Ward's persistence down the left earns them another corner.
Duff's delivery is accurate and into the path of Dunne who ends up heading backwards. De Rossi then clashes with Whelan and play is brought to a halt for an Italy free-kick.
Ireland just can't penetrate from the free-kick, but Duff holds it up admirably and draws another one under Motta's challenge.
Doyle is hauled down by De Rossi after a wonderful run from the striker. Yellow card for the Italian.
Diamanti finds Abate beautifully on the overlap, with Dunne clearing his ball into the box. Moments later, Motta is perplexed as he is judged to have kicked through Keane to concede a foul.
Pirlo lines it up but fires poorly over the bar. He's blaming the wall, but it was just a terrible free-kick.
An outrageous pass from Pirlo lands with Diamanti and O'Shea is forced into conceding a foul on the edge of the area.
A Duff corner is headed away by Bonucci, with a free-kick then given against Dunne as the ball came back in from Whelan.
Good determination from Andrews as the midfielder wins Ireland a corner after an impressive run down the centre.
Doyle wins the header from Given's long ball upfield, but Keane just can't attack quickly enough and Buffon smothers at the near post.
Motta searches for Di Natale but good defending from Ireland results in the striker being caught offside.
And having said that, Doyle directs a shot on goal after a lovely flick from Andrews, but it's straight down the throat of Buffon's throat.
Whelan is swallowed up by the admirable work of Abate, with Ireland really struggling now to create any chances from open play.
De Rossi tackles Duff committedly but in trying to win it back, Duff is perhaps a bit too boisterous and ends up conceding a free-kick.
Chiellini has a problem as he goes to ground to receive treatment after landing awkwardly during a challenge with Doyle.
Italy break with menace, Cassano playing in Di Natale who drives at the near post with Given scrambling away!
The ball falls to McGeady who does excellent to deliver towards the back post, with Doyle's header deflecting for a corner.
Marchisio fouls Wheland and Ireland can launch the ball upfield here, which they will do through Stephen Ward.
Andrews does well to keep Ireland in possession but they look disprited at the moment and Italy intercept through Pirlo as De Rossi fires over the bar.
Exquisite play from Italy as Cassano and Balzaretti torment O'Shea and St Ledger, with the latter placing the ball on target as Dunne clears away on the line!
St Ledger makes another crucial block from Di Natale, with an Italian corner finding its way back to its taker, Pirlo, with the end result an Italian throw-in.
Pirlo is hounded down relentlessly by McGeady in his own penalty box, the Italian forcing the ball away well in the end as Abate wins a throw-in.
Italy are 1/8 to see the game out with Sky Bet and take the win in the final Group D match, while Italy can be backed at 20/1 to turn it around and take the three points tonight. The draw is priced at 6/1, while Antonio Cassano is 6/1 to score the next goal.
Ireland started brighly but as the half wore on, Italy's stature grew and they deservedly hold the lead at the break through Cassano's close-range header. Send your second half predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org or @JWoodfield365. Are Italy going through to the last-eight or could the Republic pull off an upset?
Doyle shows good strength against Chiellini and wins a free-kick against the towering centre-back. Moments later, Keane is felled but a free-kick i't given against Italy this time.
De Rossi looms on goal and aims for the top right corner. O'Shea steps up to make the challenge but Italy still have possession as Dunne is forced to concede a corner against Motta.
Italy switch play impressively, but Dunne makes a strong tackle on Marchisio before Andrews' ball upfield finds Keane offside.
Cassano finds Di Natale at the far post and the striker again does superbly to cut the ball back into the six-yard box, with Dunne desperately hacking away.
Italy's quality is really starting to become evident now as Ireland struggle to prevent their attacks, O'Shea the latest man to be booked for a challenge on Balzaretti.
This time, an Italy corner is played into the box and Cassano slips in at the near post, the officials rightfully awarding the goal which just seemed to cross over the line. 1-0 to Italy!
Great chance for Italy! Di Natale skips past Given and does incredibly well to direct his shot on target as St Ledger covers to clear off the line!
Abate drives the ball into the six-yard box and it cannons off Cassano, luckily for Ireland into the path of St Ledger who clears away. It's all Italy currently.
St Ledger lives life on the edge in delaying his clearance away as Di Natale lurked ominously. In the end it's an Italy corner which they again play short.
The impressive Balzaretti continues to impress down the left side, but he is caught offside from Marchisio's pass. O'Shea needs to mark the left-back with much more attention.
Balzaretti is well found by Pirlo, before handball claims are issued by Italy's players as Di Natale's effort strikes St Ledger's shoulder. It would have been a harsh decision against Ireland.
Before that booking, Dunne made a stunning block from Di Natale's effort, probably the closest either team has come to scoring so far.
Chiellini and Keane are engaging in one heck of a battle as the nifty striker is denied a corner by good pressure from the centre-back.
A delivery from Duff finds St Ledger but another foul is given against Ireland after an apparant nudge into Chiellini.
Duff delivers, with St Ledger's header directed wide of goal. Not the way forward for Ireland, playing in front of Italy seems far more effective than direct launching.
Corner to Ireland after good work from McGeady and Duff, but had Keane's run been picked out we could have seen the first goal of the game.
Balzaretti floors McGeady, with only a throw-in given to Ireland, as St Ledger sprays an aimless ball across field and Italy have possession again.
McGeady does brilliantly to get a cross away under pressure from Balzaretti. Marked heavily though, Doyle just can't beat Chiellini to the ball.
Calm passing from Italy sees them advance, Pirlo pulling the strings, until his ball to Di Natale at the back post, a dreadful one at that, results in an Ireland goal kick.
An Ireland free-kick sees Duff's delivery land on Dunne's head with a free-kick given against the Ireland defender at the back post.
A dreadful short corner turns into a waste as Marchisio fires from range, the ball landing with panicking fans behind goal.
De Rossi finds Cassano at the back post, who slips under pressure from St Ledger but does well to still win a corner.
Bad call from the referee. It wa't a head injury and that's held Ireland's attack up for no reason. Pirlo up and at them immediately.
Motta looks for Di Natale but Dunne clears, with Pirlo clattered by Doyle as Ireland break, with Pirlo staying down during the counter and the referee brings play to a halt.
Andrews sets away McGeady down the left but Keane doe't make the run the winger wanted and eventually a long ball from Glenn Whelan to Doyle is picked up by Buffon.
McGeady beats Cassano at the near post and Ireland break. Keane pushes Marchisio in the back though in trying to retrieve the ball he lost and he concedes a free-kick.
Antonio Di Natale finds Cassano over the top of John O'Shea, the Ireland man recovering his position to head over for a corner.
Italy look to have settled somewhat as they probe in Ireland's half, retaining possession sweetly until Andrews fouls Pirlo.
Federico Balzaretti joins in on the overlap, with Richard Dunne doing well to tackle De Rossi picking up the left-back's ball.
After a mometary scramble, Sean St Ledger boots it clear after Antonio Cassano fluffed an effort to direct a shot on goal.
Ignazio Abate bursts forward to meet Pirlo's ball, but a return pass doe't arrive from Claudio Marchisio and Ireland break. Doyle claims a corner off Andrea Barzagli but it's a goal kick.
Great link-up between Keane and Aiden McGeady down the left, before Pirlo is nudged over by Keith Andrews and Italy earn a respite with a free-kick.
A Damien Duff free-kick is met by Doyle who takes a stab on the volley, with the Italians falling over to get in the way as Daniele De Rossi hacks away.
Giorgio Chiellini is beaten in the air by Doyle, with Robbie Keane giving chase as Gianluigi Buffon rushes out to claim. Great start from Ireland this.
Crikey. Nearly a disastrous start for Italy as Andrea Pirlo completely zoned out and a pass from Thiago Motta is pounced on by Kevin Doyle who is eventually crowded out as he goes for a shot.
Poor Trapattoni seems completely torn now the Italian national anthem is being played. Buffon has his eyes closed while singing, not too sure what to make of that.
National anthems time. The Irish fans are bellowing it out, with Robbie Keane giving it more oomph than Cheryl Cole on The Voice by a country mile.
Barry Houlihan predicts: 'The boys in green to eak a 1-1 draw. The previous meetings of these two teams will stand to Ireland plus with the fans belting out the tunes that should be enough to see them grind out a result..have to keep a close eye on Di Natale though.'
Saleem Mohammed writes: 'I think Italy should take this game tonight. They have a strong side and I don't think they want to be booted so early from the Euros. Balotelli coming off the bench will make a difference. 3-1 in favour of Italy.'
Italy: Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Marchisio, Thiago Motta, De Rossi, Di Natale, Cassano. Subs: Sirigu, Maggio, Ogbonna Obienza, Balotelli, Giaccherni, Borini, Montolivo, Bonucci, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.
Rep of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, Dunne, St, Ledger, Ward, McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, Keane, Doyle. Subs: Westwood, Kelly, McShane, Walters, Gibson, Hunt, O'Dea, Long, Cox, Green, McClean, Forde.
Here's some team news. Giovanni Trapattoni recalls Kevin Doyle tonight as Republic of Ireland attempted to salvage some pride from their European Championship campaign. Wolves striker Doyle comes back in for Simon Cox as manager Trapattoni reverts to the side that lost their Group C opener in Poznan, also the venue for tonight's match. Mario Balotelli starts on the bench as Italy make four changes for a match they had to win to maintain hope of reaching the quarter-finals, with Antonio Di Natale starting up front and Andrea Barzagli, Federico Balzaretti and Ignazio Abate handed their first appearances of Euro 2012.
If you'd like to get in touch with me tonight you can e-mail email@example.com or tweet @JWoodfield365.
Good evening and welcome to the Municipal Stadium for live coverage of the Euro 2012 Group C clash between Italy and Republic of Ireland. Ireland are already heading home after this match, but they can throw a spanner into the plans of Italy with a win tonight. Italy can afford nothing less than victory if they are to qualify for the last-eight, but a 2-2 draw between Spain and Croatia would see those sides progress ahead of Italy regardless of the Italians' result.