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EURO 2012 LIVE: Spain vs. Ireland
2158: A great save by Shay Given prevents Spain from getting a third. Arbeloa hits a low pass into the penalty area and the ball falls to Xavi, who pokes the ball on the bounce at the left corner of the goal but Given’s hand comes from nowhere to tip it away. Xabi Alonso is booked for Spain after tripping Jonathan Walters as the Irishman tries to turn the Spaniard.
2152: A nonchalant finish by Silva. He picks up the rebound from a shot that is beaten away by Given. He has three men in front of him and looks like he won’t be able to get his shot away, but he simply passes it through them all and past the outstretched hand of the Irish goalkeeper into the net. A clinical finish and it looked like the ball went through the legs of two defenders on its way into the net.
2135: Iniesta nearly doubles the lead before the break with a half volley just outside the area which Given tips over. It is the last bit of action of a half that Spain has dominated from start to finish. For the possession they have had, Spain should be further ahead than it is but do Ireland look like making them pay for that? Not at all, they just can’t get the ball back. The Spanish are relentless in possession and if they carry on like this, only they will be scoring in the second half.
2124: The Irish are struggling to get out of their half and the intricate Spanish passing is a delight to watch. Five minutes left of the first half, still 1-0.
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