Sweden		3	1	2	0	8	3	5
	Denmark		3	1	2	0	4	2	5
	Italy		3	0	3	0	3	2	5
	Bulgaria		3	0	0	2	1	9	0

	Qualify for quarter-finals

22 June 2004

Perrotta 48									M Petrov 45 (Pen)
Cassano 94

Corradi hit a long pass on the turn to Cassano, Fiore met his cross with a spectacular volley Zdravkov saved and Del Piero
missed the target on the rebound. Materazzi thought he was playing a Serie A match as he had his hands all over Berbatov
in the box, the Russian ref Ivanov (who I thought was excellent) pointed to the spot and Petrov scored Bulgaria's first goal
in the competition.

Perrotta scrambled in the equaliser minutes after the restart. Cassano hammered Zambrotta's centre against the underside
of the crossbar, Zdravkov tried to claim the ball but couldn't and Perrotta poked Italy level. Vieri came on for Corradi and no
guesses for what happened next. Corradi didn't get a decent cross all match, Vieri got several and missed chance, after
chance after chance. Cassano thought he had secured Italy's passage into the next round when he slammed a deflected
cross via a Pirlo dummy into the roof of the net but as he ran to the Italy bench to celebrate Peruzzi broke the news that
the Scandinavian derby had finished 2-2 and joy quickly turned to despair.

Most Italians knew Trap should have been given the boot after the World Cup, most but not the Italian FA. The big question
mark was would Italy's attacking approach continue from the qualifiers and friendlies or would they revert into their defensive
shell once the serious business of a tournament started? We got our answer against Sweden. Trap is the last cancer of
Italian football. His poor selections have been discussed in the past I hope the Italian press make Gilardino a rod for his back.
I said Vieri was a choker after the World Cup, he was even worse in this tournament. I don't think any striker has hit so many
shots off target in this competition. Del Piero looked every bit the broken footballer he has become. Lippi is almost certain
to take over but Lippi isn't the answer. His teams have an over-reliance on individual brilliance and are terrible defensively,
especially against crosses. The obvious choices are Ancelotti and Capello but neither of them are leaving club management,
for another season at least. A foreign coach is just what Italy need but it won't happen.

Assists : Berbatov (won pen)

Tomasson 28, 66								Larsson 47 (Pen)
									Johnson 89

Tomasson scored the latest contender for goal of the tournament (I thought Van Nistelrooy had this sewn up). Gravesen hit
a pass into Rommedahl, he flicked onto Tomasson, Tomasson bounced the ball off his chest before sending a 20 yard volley
dipping into the net, FANTASTIC goal. Larsson threw himself over Sorensen to win a penalty and this time he decided to take
it, he sent Sorensen the wrong way. Tomasson put the Danes back in front when Gravesen's speculative shot took a deflection
off the massed ranks of the Swedish defence and landed at his feet. A mistake by Sorensen gift wrapped the equaliser for
Mattias Jonson and both teams played out time.

You can stick your conspiracy theories up your arse. In any case most Italians will lay the blame for their elimination on Trap.

Assists : Rommedahl, Larsson (won pen)

18 June 2004

ITALY					 1-1				SWEDEN
Cassano 37									Ibrahimovic 85

Cassano hit a fantastic first time pass upto Vieri, he controlled the ball on his chest, turned and before he could shoot
Isaksson snapped at his feet to clear. Heskey, sorry Vieri, headed wastefully over, I've taken the liberty of cutting and
pasting that comment to save time. Zambrotta absolutely destroyed Nilsson with a tremendous surge down the left,
pulled the ball back to Del Piero and predictably his missed the target. Isaksson made a brilliant save from a deflected
Del Piero effort. The Italians put together a passing move which started with Buffon rolling the ball out to a defender and
ended 15 passes later with Zambrotta crossing to the  back post and, once again, Vieri missed. Panucci turned two
defenders inside out on the right wing before sending a cross into the box and Cassano stooped low to head into the net.
About bloody time.

Another cross by Cassano went to waste but this time it was Del Piero failed to hit the target. Italy's wretched front men
combined for another chance. Vieri hit a through pass upto Del Piero, two defenders and Isaksson greeted him on the edge
of the box so he checked back then hit an exquisite lob goalwards but Jakobsson got back to clear. Cassano was
substituted on 70 minutes, Gattuso followed him four minutes later and Italy promptly fell apart. Larsson latched onto
Fiore's hospital pass and ran half the length of the field, rode a tackle from Fiore then slipped in substitute Jonson but his
shot was brilliantly saved by Buffon. An amazing goal gave Sweden the equaliser when Italy failed to clear a corner.
Allback turned on a header, Mellberg jumped for the ball and as it dropped Ljungberg attempted an overhead kick, Buffon
rushed off his line but Ibrahimovic jumped and hit a mid air, back heel volley over Buffon into the net, absolutely incredible
goal. Vieri missed a sitter right at the death.

Trap will get absolutely hammered in the press and rightfully so. EVERYONE knew failing to take Gilardino would cost them
dearly. No other coach in the World would fail to select a player in such a rich vein of form, a player who is either a one
season wonder or the best natural goalscorer Italy has produced since Paolo Rossi. Even SGE doesn't make the type of
mistakes Trap does. Ever since Euro 2002 I said Vieri was a choker and so it has been proved, time and time again.
Del Piero at least troubled the Swedish defence but he shouldn't be playing either. I'd rather see Miccoli in that role, at
least he can shoot. Zambrotta is phenomenal. It must be soul destroying for him to run like a dog all match, put in great
crosses, track back and get no reward. He's the Italian Javier Zanetti.

Italy need to beat Bulgaria by more than 2 goals to guarantee a place in the quarter-finals. Sweden only need a point to
go through.

Assists : Panucci, Mellberg

									Tomasson 44
									Gronkjaer 92

The problem with Denmark is that their superb midfield and Tomasson have to carry a second rate player like Sand in attack.
He missed a sitter on six minutes. Rommedahl whipped a cross to the back post, Jorgensen controlled the ball on his chest
before volleying at goal, Zdravkov parried and Sand scuffed his shot and took a kick off a defender for his troubles.
Gronkjaer made an earlier then expected appearance after Rommedahl went off with an injury mid-way through the first half.
He continued where Rommedahl left off and almost scored after everyone missed a cross from Jorgensen. Tomasson missed
a great chanced after Gravesen spilt the defence with one of his 40 yard through passes. Denmark survived a Sorensen
before taking a deserved lead on half time. Sand played Jorgensen's deflected cross back to Gravesen and hit a perfectly
weighted first pass into Jorgensen, Zdravkov came off his line to close down the winger, Jorgensen centred leaving Tomasson
with a tap-in. Stilian Petrov was sent off for complaining after the ref booked team-mate Hristov. This ref was a complete arse.
Gronkjaer finished off a fine passing move by exchanging passes with Tomasson and slamming the ball into the corner.
Good night Sofia.

A draw is enough for Denmark IF Italy fail to beat Bulgaria by 2 goals. A win sends Denmark through.

Assists : Jorgensen, Tomasson

14 June 2004

Ljungberg 32
Larsson 57, 58
Ibrahimovic 78 (Pen)
Allback 91

Unlike every game so far this one was wide open from the start and it was the Bulgarians who had the best of the early
chances. Jankovic volleyed Martin Petrov's cross just wide of the post and Isaksson did brilliantly to tip over Berbatov's
header. The quality of Bulgaria's defending didn't match their attacking and a poor attempt at playing offside allowed
Ibrahimovic to blaze down the right wing and pull the ball back for Ljungberg to score, only his 4th in 41 games for
Sweden. Stilian Petrov missed an immediate chance to equalise.

The Bulgarians were made to pay dearly for a glaring miss by Jankovic when Larsson hit two inside a minute. Ljungberg
and Edman combined down the left, Larsson met Edman's deep cross with a spectacular diving header. Just over a minute
later he arrived at the back post to slam home Svensson's centre. Ljungberg won a penalty with a theatrical dive, Larsson
passed up the chance to score a hat-trick and the brilliant Ibrahimovic sent Zdravkov the wrong way. Larsson's wonderfully
weighted pass sent substitute Allback in on the 'keeper and he finished emphatically, blasting a half volley into the net.

Absolutely brilliant performance by the Swedes. Larsson's finishing was out of this world.

Assists : Ibrahimovic, Edman, Svensson, Ljungberg (won pen), Larsson

DENMARK					0-0				ITALY

Trap's supposedly attack minded Italy found themselves on the back foot as early on the Danes dominated but with the
wretched Sand in attack they only had to worry about Tomasson. For all their possession it was the Danes who were
lucky not to go in at half time a goal behind. Sorensen made a fantastic double save in the last minute from Del Piero
and Totti.

Italy were much improved in the second half. Zambrotta wasted a great chance from a Totti pass and Vieri's goal bound
header was brilliantly tipped over by Sorensen. The Danes rode out the storm but Buffon was proving just as difficult to
beat as his counterpart and made two excellent saves from Pulsen and Rommedahl. Totti should have been sent off
for a horrendous foul on Henriksen.