Plenty of discussion about what we want out of today's matchups and Monday's final round. There's differing views out there but I think we'd all be happy if this happened:
Italy 3 - Croatia 1
After a physical first half which saw De Rossi and Modric sent off, the Italian's stepped up a gear with Di Natale (or your man with the name no one on RTE can pronounce) scoring a hat-trick in 15 second-half minutes. It would be even better if, following his third goal, Di Natale stripped off to show off a full body suit sponsored by Paddy Power and was then was also promptly sent off. Croatia came back into it after scoring from a corner, Jelavic cleaning up after Buffon's hair got caught in the stanchion while reaching for an in-swinging corner.
Ireland 1 - Spain 1
With Trap choosing to go with a Robbie Keane-led front line, Keith Andrews became the talisman yet again, showing Xavi and Busquets when tiki-taka looks like on the North Strand. Ireland unfortunately go a goal down after half time after Torres slips outside the box and lands arse-first on the ball causing it to banana into the goal via a Shay Given overhead. Thankfully in the dying moments James McClean comes on, rounds Alba at the far post and dinks it to Andrews who set things straight with a shot that bursts the net and lands in Eamonn Keegan open mouth. Things are looking up as we go into the final round of games
Croatia 1 - Spain 2
Bilic knows its time to lose the raver hat and take things seriously as he meets up with the World and Euro champs, who need a victory to go through. Things start well for Croatia with a well-taken goal by Kranjcar who has taken Modric's place in the middle of the park. Just before half time Spain knit 453 passes together to help Silva walk it into goal. Bilic does he his half time team-talk over a soundtrack of Da Hool's "Meet Her At The Love Parade" and the Croats come out dancing. On the very first corner they concede a headed goal from Fernando Torres who runs to Roman Abramovich in the crowd to thank him. Despite looking the more dangerous for the remainder of the game, Croatia leave the tournament empty-handed while Spain break a world record for most players in the centre circle.
Ireland 2 - Italy 0
Trap knows he has to start McClean after his game-saving appearance against Spain, but decides against it as "He will be good soon, but no experience he has." (Manuela is seen remonstrating with him before announcing James will be sat beside McShane on the subs bench). For the first 20 minutes Ray Houghton is mentioned forty five thousand times by different TV commentary teams, mostly by Ray himself. With Buffon out with a fringe-related injury and De Rossi suspended, Italy look dodgy at the back. In the 33rd minute Darron Gibson comes on for the worn-out Keith Andrews. Immediately Gibson picks the ball up on the half way line and shoots, sticking it firmly in the top corner. Ireland 1-0. After half time Darron Gibson is taken off as he has failed to pass one single ball, opting to shoot first time, each and every time the ball comes his way, even off thro- ins in the Irish half. James McClean comes on and Eamon's Keegan and Dunphy are seen arm in arm celebrating in the stands. For the last 20 minutes of the game, Ireland are pinned back as Trap orders no one to leave their own half, McClean decides enough is enough and takes Stephen Hunt with him up the left wing, knocking the ball into his stride just outside the box. Instead of passing, Hunt puts the head down and runs the ball directly into the goal, knocking down 3 defender and snaring their keeper in the net. He looks up not yet realising he has put Ireland into the next round and loses his mind, running around for about 12 minutes celebrating and earning himself a yellow card. Ireland go through, Ireland go through.