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EURO '08: Spain ends the jinx of June 22
by Paul Kennedy, June 23rd, 2008 7AM

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[SPAIN-ITALY REPORT CARD] Spain was the only group winner to avoid defeat in the quarterfinals of the European Championship, but it wasn't easy.

Italy held off the Spanish attack with a determined defensive effort, and the game went to penalty kicks, where Spain prevailed, 4-2.

The victory marked the first time Spain has reached the semifinals of a major tournament in 24 years. It had lost three previous quarterfinal shootouts in major tournaments -- all on June 22.

Goalie Iker Casillas was the hero for Spain, making a kick save on a shot by Mauro Camoranesi in the second half and stopping two shots -- by Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale -- in the shootout.

Soccer America's Paul Kennedy grades the players.

Spain Player Ratings
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
8 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) 80/0
6 Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) 37/4
5 Carlos Marchena (Valencia) 45/2
6 Carles Puyol (Barcelona) 64/1
5 Joan Capdevila (Villarreal) 21/3
6 Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) 27/5
7 Marcos Senna (Villarreal) 14/0
6 Xavi (Barcelona) 61/6
6 David Silva (Valencia) 17/2
6 Fernando Torres (Liverpool) 52/16
6 David Villa (Valencia) 34/18
Subs:
5 Santi Cazorla Villarreal) 6/0
5 Daniel Guiza (Real Mallorca) 6/1
5 Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) 30/1

Italy Player Ratings
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
7 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) 85/0
6 Fabio Grosso (Lyon) 343/3
7 Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) 12/1
6 Christian Panucci (Roma) 56/4
6 Gianluca Zambrotta (Barcelona) 74/2
6 Daniele De Rossi (Roma) 35/5
5 Alberto Aquilani (Roma) 6/0
5 Simone Perrotta (Roma) 42/2
5 Massimo Ambrosini (AC Milan) 34/0
5 Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria) 14/3
5 Luca Toni (Bayern Munich) 37/15
Subs:
5 Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus) 38/4
5 Antonio Di Natale (Udinese) 19/7
nr Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus) 88/27



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