ENNISKILLEN, NORTHERN IRELAND—On the heels of eliminating the United Kingdom in their highly anticipated Tuesday afternoon matchup, Italy has joined Japan to become the first two nations in the G8 Finals, sources confirmed. “Italy certainly looked nervy in their opener, but they shook off the rust and managed to bounce back and advance at France’s expense,” said G8 analyst Nicolas Vermijl, adding that the Italians haven’t been to the final round since the 2006 summit in St. Petersburg. “The biggest surprise thus far is undoubtedly Japan, though. Nobody expected them to get this far, but they came in hot and rode that momentum all the way to the final, upsetting clear favorites Russia and last year’s winners, Germany. They could very well go the distance.” Vermijl also noted that the United States had another disappointing showing at the G8, having been knocked out during the group stage for the third year running.
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