Italian coach Cesare Prandelli lined up his team

There were all kinds of talking points from the games played on day three of Euro 2012, as Spain took on Italy followed by the Republic of Ireland versus Croatia. Dennis Pitta Elite Jersey . Spain elected to play a 4-3-3 formation – with six midfielders – while Italian coach Cesare Prandelli lined up his team in a 3-5-2 formation, with midfielder Daniele De Rossi slotting into the three-man back line between Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonnucci. Prandellis move very nearly worked, as the Italians came away with a point after holding the reigning world and European champions to a 1-1 draw. For long stretches of the game, Spains technical brilliance was stymied by Italys tactical superiority. Time and time again, Italy were able to thwart the Spanish attack because their positional play was superb. De Rossi in particular was in outstanding form in the first half as he organized the Italian defense to perfection. The introduction of substitute Antonio Di Natale in the second half paid off for Prandellis men, as he latched onto a wonderful through ball from Andrea Pirlo to give Italy the lead in the 61st minute. But the lead lasted all of three minutes, as Spain equalized through Cesc Fabregas, whose diagonal run into the penalty box was met by a clever pass from David Silva. A draw was a fair result on the balance of play. Italy showed that it could live with the best in the world, while Spain proved that they would not deviate from their preferred tiki-taka style of play, even in the absence of injured striker David Villa. If both teams can carry this form into their final two group games, it will be difficult to see either of them failing to reach the knockout stage. In the second game of the day, Croatia got the better of the Republic of Ireland, coming away with a 3-1 victory. Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring for Croatia before Sean St. Ledger equalized with a header. Just before the halftime break, Croatia took the lead under controversial circumstances. Nikica Jelavic prodded home a botched clearance by Irish defender Stephen Ward, after Luka Modrics effort from outside the penalty box was blocked. While Jelavic was in an offside position when the initial shot came in from Modric, the referee determined that he was not interfering with play or an with opponent. The shot from Modric was the first phase of play. As the two Croatian players, Jelavic and Mandzukic, were deemed by the referee to be neither interfering with play nor gaining an advantage by being in an offside position, play was allowed to continue. The attempted clearance from Ward was the second phase of play. As the ball came off the boot of Ward, rather than being a deflection, Jelavic was not deemed to be offside. For the purpose of clarity, here is the official wording of the Rule 11 – the offside rule – from FIFA: “Interfering with play” means:- Playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a teammate “Interfering with an opponent” means:- Preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball.- Making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent “Gaining an advantage by being in that position” means:- Playing a ball that rebounds to him off a post or crossbar, having previously been in an offside position- Playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent, having previously been in an offside position The controversy comes because the rule relies on the interpretation of the officials. They have but a split second to make a decision, and do not have the benefit of a video replay. If they did, there would be far less debate about game-changing situations such as this one. This is why I am in favour of utilizing video replays in soccer. The fourth (or fifth) official should immediately review any goal that is scored. Access to multiple camera angles would allow that official to make the correct call, eliminating any debate and allowing the game to flow at its natural pace. Torrey Smith Jersey . Davis was in Las Vegas last week for U.S. Olympic team tryouts, but a sore left ankle hampered his already slim chances to make the 12-man roster for the London Games. Ed Reed Elite Jersey . Cozart sustained a concussion after being hit in the helmet by a pitch from Chad Billingsley in the fifth inning. The rookie shortstop held his head with both hands while lying on his stomach for several anxious moments before walking off under his own power. . Birnbacher finished the Pillerseetal course in 25 minutes 31.1 seconds to finish 0.4 seconds ahead of defending overall champion Martin Fourcade of France, who missed one target. Ray Rice Super bowl Jersey . LOUIS — Rams offensive tackle Rodger Saffold has returned to St. Haloti Ngata Limited Jersey . His victorious ride lasted 91 hours 39 minutes two seconds over 21 stages, covering 3,503.The head coach is in the running for two NFL jobs, the GM is also said to be a candidate for another post south of the border and the assistant general manager has twice spoken to a new CFL entry. Just another typical off-season for the Montreal Alouettes and chief operating officer Mark Weightman. Head coach Marc Trestman, who has led Montreal to two Grey Cup titles in five years, met Monday with the Chicago Bears about their coaching vacancy and was scheduled to huddle with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday. GM Jim Popp has been mentioned as a candidate for the vacant Carolina Panthers general managers position while assistant GM Marcel Desjardins had a second interview Monday about the GM post with the Ottawa CFL expansion team slated to begin play in 2014. “This year is really no different than any other year, its not the first time there has been speculation of interest for some of our football people south of the border,” Weightman said Tuesday. “Really, its just been part of our day to day here over the last few years. “I dont know if Im a little bit blase by it because its not the first time.” Trestmans name has been mentioned in NFL coaching circles pretty much since he arrived in Montreal in 2008, and with good reason. The 56-year-old Minnesota natives resume includes NCAA experience with both Miami and North Carolina State and hes spent time in the NFL as a quarterback coach, running back coach and offensive co-ordinator with Minnesota (twice), Tampa Bay, Cleveland, San Francisco, Detroit, Arizona, Oakland and Miami. Last year, both Trestman and Popp interviewed for positions with the Indianapolis Colts. If Trestman or Popp left, it would create a huge void for Montreal. But the prospect of Trestman, Popp and Desjardins all taking new jobs at the same time would deliver a crippling blow to the CFL team. “First of all, its all speculation at this point,” Weightman said. “If something like that were to happen well address it at that time but were not going to get worked up about it.” Popp, 48, has been Montreals GM since the team rellocated from Baltimore in 1996. Terrell Suggs Elite Jersey. . Popps CFL squads — he also was Baltimores general manager in 1994-95 — have made 10 Grey Cup appearances, winning four. In 2011, Popp was named executive of the year by Sports Media Canada The native of Elkin, N.C., has earned a reputation in Canada of being a shrewd evaluator of football talent. He and Desjardins have also spent nine seasons together in Montreal, providing the franchise a very solid 1-2 front-office punch. Desjardins, a native of Burlington, Ont., also has experience as a CFL general manager. He held that post in 2007 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before eventually returning to Montreal. Weightman said the Alouettes are simply a victim of their own success. “Thats probably a good way of putting it, really,” he said. “What would you rather have: A mediocre result every year and have nobody ever talk about wanting to have your coach go to the NFL or success and these rumours coming around each year? “Personally, Id rather be in the situation where weve had a decent amount of success and these rumours start up. Its part of the deal.” Trestman, Popp and Desjardins all have time remaining on their deals with Montreal, but Trestman and Popp reportedly have escape clauses in their contracts that would allow them take positions south of the border. Regardless, Weightman said the Alouettes rarely stand in the way of their employees assuming more significant positions with another organization. An example of that, Weightman said, was former Alouettes offensive co-ordinator Scott Milanovich becoming Torontos head coach in December 2011. The move paid off nicely for the Argonauts as Milanovich led them to a Grey Cup title as a rookie head coach. “Its always been our clubs approach over the years if ever an employee — be it a coach, assistant coach, GM or scout — be presented with an opportunity to significantly advance their career with another organization weve always been open to discussing it,” he said. “That doesnt mean its an automatic but the same would apply here.” ‘ ‘ ‘

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