ZURICH, Switzerland:Italy advanced to the quarterfinals of the European Championship with a 2-0 win over 10-man France on Tuesday.
Andrea Pirlo put Italy in front at Letzigrund Stadium with a penalty in the 25th minute after Eric Abidal was sent off for a foul on Luca Toni, and Daniele De Rossi made it 2-0 with a deflected free kick in the 62nd.
Italy will next face Group D winner Spain on Sunday in Vienna, although it will be without key midfielders Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso after the pair got their second yellow cards of the tournament.
It was Italy's first win over France without the help of a penalty shootout in 30 years, the last occasion 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 its 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.