The Group of Death returns for the virtual second round of group fixtures with France and Italy in the driving seat after victories over Romania and Holland respectively.
This is a massive set of fixtures and qualification can be confirmed tonight for both world cup finalists but Holland and Romania are down but definitely not out.
Italy v Romania
The Azzurri displayed their attacking threat in the last match by smashing four goals past Holland while Romania were easily dispatched by France. Toni and De Rossi kick us off and both go very close but Labont is in top form and deny's both.
This is turning into an Italy v Labont fixture as Gattuso and Pirlo draw world class saves from the Romanian keeper. Cassano hits a fierce drive against the woodwork and Labont is at full strech to stop De Rossi finding the top corner.
After half time, the game swings the Romanians way. Mutu and Niculae go close before Petre wins a corner on the left. Mutu swings it in and the ball is met by Chiuvu's powerful header which beats Buffon on 65 minutes. 0-1.
Italy desperately can't score and have chance after chance before on 88 minutes, De Rossi slips Del Piero through on the half way line. Rat races back and takes him out from behind. He earns a straight red but by sacrificing himself he earned Romania the three points. 0-1.
France v Holland
News filters through of Romania's win and the need to win increases for Les Bleus. Holland's need is greater though as anything less than three points will effectively end their virtual challenge.
France kick off with the successful partnership of Henry and Benzema, both going extremely close but Van der Saar stops both shots. Nasri feeds Ribery and he beats the Dutch keeper but the woodwork saves Holland.
Just before half time, Holland break with Robben racing down the wing and cuts it back for Van der Vaart, his deflected shot falls to the feet of Sneijder and he slots it home on 44 minutes. 0-1.
After the break Holland continue their assault of Coupet's goal. Van Nistelrooy and Sneijder go close and then Engelaar hits narrowly wide. Just as France began to show some attacking promise, Holland break again. Substitutes combine as van Persie races down the touchline and his cross finds Huntelaar and the result is inevitable on 77 minutes. 0-2.
Holland and Romania hit back amazingly to sink France and Italy. Amazingly all four sides sit on four points with the same goal difference but Italy and Holland lead on goals scored.
Group D returns tomorrow with Spain, Sweden, Greece and Russia back in action.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!