It's Day 11 in our PlayStation 2 Euro 2008 marathon, and we've just seen Germany and Croatia get the wins they needed to qualify from Group B. It's now time to wrap up Group C. The story so far:
Romania 0 France 1
Holland 2 Italy 2
Italy 1 Romania 3
Holland 1 France 3
Tuesday 17 June
Holland v Romania, France v Italy
France are able to go into the Zurich clash with Italy safe in the knowledge that they will be in the quarter-finals no matter what the result. Italy must win to have any hope of overhauling Holland or Romania for second place.
Ruud van Nistelrooy hits the post early on in Berne but it's Romania who take the lead as Adrian Mutu dinks a shot over Edwin van der Sar on 18 minutes. At half-time in Zurich, William Gallas has cleared off the line but the goalless scoreline suggests both teams know their respective fates.
Meanwhile, van Nistelrooy gets another chance on 55 minutes after a defence-splitting Rafael van der Vaart pass and this time makes no mistake.
News filters through from Zurich that Franck Ribery has scored for France after 71 minutes. Nicolas Anelka's cross is not properly cut out by Gianluca Zambrotta and Ribery plunders a goal that gives the French three wins out of three and sends the world champions home early.
Romania know all they have to do is hang on in Berne. But the pressure mounts, and when Giovanni van Bronckhorst swings in a left-wing delivery in stoppage time, Bogdan Lobont misjudges the flight of the ball completely. Razvan Rat is on hand to clear off the line but the ball falls invitingly at the feet of substitute Arjen Robben, who slots a half-volley into the far corner. The Dutch go crazy, having pulled off a last-gasp escape in the Group of Death.
Final scores: Holland 2 Romania 1, France 1 Italy 0.
Group standings: France 9pts, Holland 4pts, Romania 3pts, Italy 1pt.
So France have a 100% record and head to Basel next, while Holland squeeze their way into the last quarter-final in Vienna. Their opponents will be known when we conclude Group D...
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