Spain vs. Italy: First Half

Welcome to the final quarterfinal match of Uefa 2008. Spain and Italy are set to kick things off in Vienna with the winner moving on to face Russia in the semifinals. The Spaniards are slightly favored over the defending World Cup champions, but all three favorites have been sent home over the last three days. Continue after the jump for live commentary and game updates as soon as they get underway. Until then, enjoy soccer tongue day here at Deadspin.

Xabi Alonzo and Cesc Fabregas start out on the Spanish bench once again, while Alessandro Del Piero is the most likely sub for the Italian side. Both Casillas and Buffon enter the game in top form for their respective countries, so goals will be at a premium.

• Spain is on form and the Italians have barely survived thus far. If the Spaniards are going to overcome their history of choking like dogs, today is a big first step.

• The players are warming up and we'll be underway shortly.

• I always expect the Italians to have a more rousing national anthem.

•The play has been restricted to the middle of the field thus far, no chances for either side with two minutes gone.

• Cassano wastes little time before hitting the ground.

• Villa stops an Italian run prematurely with a perfectly timed sliding tackle. That would look pretty good in Stamford Bridge.

• An Italian free kick is placed comfortably in the keeper's hands.

• Villa has a go at goal, but it's deflected up in the air to Buffon.

• After losing possession to Cassano, Torres comes within a few inches of him resulting in a free kick.

• Another Italian flop, and this time it's a yellow for Iniesta. God I hate this shit.

• Spain is completely lost on offense. They are literally standing around with their arms up trying to figure out where to go with the ball.

• Torres is finally able to get possession to the edge of the box, and he's taken down without a call. If a call had been made it would have been quite harsh.

• Oh good, now the Italians are trying to hurt Villa. I'm not nearly drunk enough for this.

• The Spanish side finally show the pace of their offense, but Torres couldn't put it on target.

• Ambrosini with a quality cross, but Perrotta only manages a glancing blow with the header.

Spain vs. Italy: First Half

• Ambrosini and Toni are finding some room in the Spanish defense, but they haven't had any real quality shots on target.

• Spain is set to take a free kick from 25 meters, Villa and Silva are lined up. Villa blasts ones low across goal and Buffon collapses on it with relative ease. Not a bad effort, but not enough.

• We're 26 minutes in, and Italy has continued to play it tight and depressing. If Spain wants to open things up they are going to have to get Fabregas in the lineup at some point.

• Iniesta did well to make himself available at the corner of the area, but he was pushed off the ball by the defense. No call, no shock.

• Hey a yellow for Ambrosini! Of course it couldn't have been much more obvious. It looked like he was going to put Senna in a figure four.

• Silva worked hard to get himself a shot in the middle of the field. It was wide of goal, but Buffon tipped it out. A foul is whistled on the subsequent free kick.

• Italy finally takes their foot off the break getting a good cross in to Toni. The striker's header is well defended, and Spain retakes control.

• Torres has the ball in space and he's able to work it into the box, he has help but chooses to eschew it for his own shot, deflected out. Silva gets a good look at it and nearly beats Buffon to the far post. Finally, a little back and forth.

• Italy's first corner of the game goes unconverted, but they've maintained possession in an attacking position.

• Silva is tripped up right at the edge of the area, and there's another brutal no call. What the fuck is going on?

• The Spanish side continues to press the Italians without anything to show for it but some bruises to their lower extremities. Stoppage time awaits.

• Just one minute is added, so I'll be closing this one down. Keep your eyes out for the second half live blog coming up shortly.