ZURICH, Switzerland Italy advanced to the quarterfinals of the European Championship with a 2-0 win over short-handed France on Tuesday in a rematch of the 2006 World Cup final the Italians also won.
Andrea Pirlo put Italy in front with a penalty kick in the 25th minute after Eric Abidal was red-carded for a foul on Luca Toni, and Daniele De Rossi made it 2-0 with a deflected free kick in the 62nd.
Italy next faces Group D winner Spain on Sunday in Vienna, although it will be without key midfielders Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso after each got his second yellow card of the tournament.
It was Italy's first win over France without the help of a penalty shootout in 30 years, the last being a 2-1 win at the 1978 World Cup. Italy beat France in a shootout in the 2006 World Cup final and the teams also met twice in qualifying for Euro 2008. The French won 3-1 in Paris and the teams drew 0-0 in Milan.
But the Italians still needed help from the Netherlands to be sure of a place in the next round, getting it when the Dutch beat Romania 2-0 in the other Group C match. The Netherlands won the group with a maximum nine points and Italy finished second with four. Romania exited with two points and France finished last with just one and only one goal.
Toni was free behind the defense when he reached out with his leg to pull down a long pass. He was fouled from behind by Abidal, who was ejected before Pirlo stepped up and fired a shot high to the right of goalkeeper Gregory Coupet.
De Rossi's 25-yard free kick was deflected in the wall by French striker Thierry Henry and changed direction, eluding Coupet. That was all the Azzurri needed along with the Dutch victory.