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EURO 2012 LIVE: England vs. Italy
WARSAW, POLAND (AP) - England and Italy are vying for the last semifinal berth at the European Championship _ and the winner will play Germany. Follow all of the action and build-up here. All times are Polish.
2058: England seems to be encouraged by that chance from Johnson, with Wayne Rooney breaking away down the left to force a corner. The Italians clear the imminent pressure but the ball is crossed back into the center and, after an unorthodox punch away from Buffon, Parker drills the ball wide from outside the penalty area.
2052: And now it's England's turn to go close. England works the ball down the right and Milner delivers a low cross into the penalty area and after a couple of deflections, it lands between the feet of Johnson. The right back eventually gets his shot away and it seems destined for the back of the net from close range but Buffon makes a splendid save, clawing the ball up in the air and catching the rebound.
2050: So close! De Rossi sends a left-footed shot on the bounce crashing off the post. The ball is pulled back to the midfield man who, with the outside of his boot, sends a shot swerving onto the face of the left post from 25 yards, with an outstretched Hart in the England goal comprehensively beaten. Early letoff for Roy Hodgson's side.
2045: And the match gets underway, with Italy, in blue, kicking off.
2042: A rousing rendition of the Italian national anthem by Buffon, roaring out the lyrics with his eyes closed.
2040: Buffon and Gerrard lead their teams out.
2035: gdunbarap: Kiev pitch being watered 15 mins before kickoff. Italy happy to agree to it vs England, but not Spain 2 weeks ago. (via Twitter.)
2030: For England, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Young, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all a yellow card away from missing a potential semifinal clash against Germany. For Italy, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is joined on the list of bookings by Fedricio Balzaretti, Mario Balotelli, Daniele De Rossi, Riccardo Montolivo and Leonardo Bonucci.
2020: So Mario Balotelli starts for Italy against three of his Manchester City teammates in the England side: Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott and James Milner. England are unchanged from the side that beat Ukraine 1-0 in the last Group D match. That means Wayne Rooney partners Danny Welbeck in attack, with Andy Carroll and Theo Walcott starting on the substitutes' bench.
1950: Italy forward Mario Balotelli returns to the starting lineup to face an unchanged England team. Balotelli is selected ahead of Antonio Di Natale. Defender Giorgio Chiellini injured his left hamstring against the Irish and his Juventus teammate Leonardo Bonucci continues to fill in. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has opted for Riccardo Montolivo in midfield over Thiago Motta.
1945: Here are the lineups:
England: Joe Hart, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, James Milner, Scott Parker, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck.
Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Ignazio Abate, Federico Balzaretti, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Daniele De Rossi, Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Pirlo, Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano.
1940: AP's Rob Harris, in Kiev: "For the first time at Euro 2012, England fans are making their presence felt in Kiev ahead of the quarterfinal against Italy. Logistical problems getting to the outer reaches of eastern Europe seem to have been partly overcome. The chorus of "We are the Champions" seems a tad premature though."
1835: Defending champion Spain is hoping the extra two days rest that Portugal has before the semifinal encounter on Wednesday will not prove to be of advantage when they compete for a place in the final in Donetsk.
1815: simonhaydon: Pedro Proenca was nursing broken teeth after being headbutted by a fan. Ten months later, he refs Italy vs England tonight (via Twitter.)
1500: Former Portugal great Eusebio is in stable condition after undergoing tests on his heart. The 70-year-old Eusebio was admitted to hospital in Poznan late Saturday after feeling ill and suffering what was initially suspected to be a heart attack, hospital spokesman Stanislaw Rusek said. Doctors performed a coronary catheterization, which determined that Eusebio had not had a heart attack but merely complications from poor health. "I had the chance to speak to him this morning and asked him whether his heart hurt at all," Rusek told The Associated Press. "He smiled and said, 'not at all,' and that shows that this morning he was in good form."
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