Evening News’ fans’ panel: Ukrainians rue refereeing decision
Former Norwich City player Cedric Anselin watched his home country France lose 2-0 to Sweden last night, meaning they will now meet World Cup winners and European Championship holders Spain.
He said: 'I think it was not ideal. I think France wanted to finish top and play Italy because obviously no-one wants to play Spain. I think it would've been great for us to have avoided the Spanish, but we've got them and we have to deal with it.
'As I've said in the past the French team is a young team and to gain experience like this is massive. For us its a learning curve and they're building for the future not just Euro 2012.'
Ukrainian Nataliya Klymko who works at Norfolk County Council, was disappointed to see her team exit the tournament after losing to England 1-0, particularly after the hosts were denied a goal which looked to have crossed the line, but was not given.
She said: 'It should've been 1-1. It had to have counted. It wouldn't have been enough, but Ukrainians would've been much more happy with this result. I feel a little bit disappointed. It was a very interesting game, both teams really were playing hard.'
However she added she was proud of the way her country had hosted the tournament.
She said: 'It is much better organised than people thought it would be. I'm very happy that we are hosting it.'
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Spain and Italy were celebrating yesterday after making it through Ireland's group. Cruz Espinosa from deli Torero on Dereham Road watched Spain survive a scare against Croatia, until they took the lead with three minutes to go.
'I was very nervous,' she said. 'With 10 minutes to go I was angry with the team. They didn't seem to work as a team.'
But she hailed manager Vincent Del Bosque's decision to take off Torres for the goal-scorer Jesus Navas, adding: 'The team needed to change.'
Italy came second in the group with a 2-0 win over Ireland. Chef at Cafe Italia in Orford Street in the city centre, Vincenzo Garguilo, said he was impressed with the Irish spirit and fans.
'It was a tough match,' he said. 'The Irish played really well considering they didn't need to get anything. They showed a lot of character and aggression. They wanted to win but I thought we deserved the two-nil.'