Saturday, June 14, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Day 8 Recap

Spain 2, Sweden 1
Russia 1, Greece 0

David Villa was on the mark again for Spain, netting a stoppage time winner to give Spain a deserved 2-1 win over Sweden. Level at the break, Spain dominated the second half as the Swedes struggled to generate offense after the departure of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Fernando Torres put Spain ahead in the 15th minute with his first goal for the national side since 2006. Ibrahimovic tied the game in the 34th minute with his second goal of the tournament, but the Inter Milan star, who has been nursing a knee injury, departed at the half. Villa, who opened Spain's tournament with a hat trick Tuesday against Russia, snatched three points for his side just before the final whistle to give Spain control of Group D.

In the late game, Greece's title defense came to a feeble conclusion with a 1-0 loss to Russia. The Greeks are the only side in the tournament yet to score a goal. Russia took advantage of a wandering Antonis Nikopolidis in the 33rd minute. The Greek goaltender strayed from his line and when Sergei Semak acrobatically put the ball in front, Konstatin Zurianov was there to knock home the game's only goal. With star midfielder Andrei Arshavin ready to return from suspension Wednesday, the Russians like their chances to advance.

Today's results confirm Spain's ticket to the quarterfinals as group winners, where they'll face Romania, Italy or France. Sweden will meet Russia Wednesday for second place and a quarterfinal date with Holland.

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