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Euro 2012 final: Spain takes on Italy for unprecedented third straight international title

View Photo Gallery: In the Euro 2012 final, Mario Balotelli and Italy hope to spoil Spain’s chances of a third straight title.

In search of its unprecedented third straight international soccer title, Spain takes on Italy on Sunday (2:45, ESPN) in the Euro 2012 final.

The two teams met in the opening round of group play, battling to a 1-1 draw (the last goal Spain conceded at this tournament). Now they meet again. Spain is not only hoping for its third straight international crown, but its third European Championship title, which would tie Germany’s record.

Italy has not allowed a goal in its last nine elimination games at major tournaments.

The Associated Press already has started its live blog of the game, noting that Spain has just two non-penalty kick goals in its last 300 minutes of play.

In other news, Laurent Blanc has stepped down as France’s coach. . . . A look at ESPN’s soccer strategy, with Ian Darke and Steve McManaman as the public voices of the network. . . . UEFA wants FIFA to delay its decision on goal-line technology. . . . UEFA President Michel Platini says Euro 2020 could be a truly European affair, with games held at 12 or 13 sites across the continent.

Stateside, D.C. United retook the lead in the Eastern Conference with an impressive 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact.

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After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.

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