World Cup 2010 Group F: Slovakia 3-2 Italy

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Defending champions Italy crashed out at the group stage of the World Cup for the first time since 1974 after a disappointing 3-2 loss to Slovakia at Ellis Park.

The Azzurri fell behind after 25 minutes when Juraj Kucka cut out a poor Daniele De Rossi pass and fed Róbert Vittek who rifled home low and hard from the edge of the area.

Slovakia - ranked 34 in the world - amazingly increased the lead on 72 minutes with Vittek poking past Federico Marchetti at the near post.

Italy fought to stay alive in the competition and Antonio Di Natale reduced their arrears with nine minutes remaining.

But four minutes later, Kamil Kopúnek restored Slovakia's two-goal cushion on the counter-attack just moments after coming on as a substitute.

Fabio Quagliarella grabbed a lifeline for the Italians with a stunning strike in the first minute of injury time.

But it was too little too late and Slovakia held on to progress to the last 16 as Group F runners-up behind Paraguay, who drew with New Zealand.


Slovakia: Ján Mucha; Peter Pekarík, Martin Škrtel, Ján Ďurica, Radoslav Zabavník; Juraj Kucka, Zdeno Štrba (Kamil Kopúnek, 87), Marek Hamšík, Róbert Vittek (Stanislav Šesták, 79); Miroslav Stoch, Erik Jendrišek (Martin Petráš, 90)

Italy: Federico Marchetti; Gianluca Zambrotta, Fabio Cannavaro, Giorgio Chiellini, Domenico Criscito (Christian Maggio, 46); Gennaro Gattuso (Fabio Quagliarella, 46), Daniele De Rossi, Riccardo Montolivo (Andrea Pirlo, 56); Simone Pepe, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Antonio Di Natale

4Shots on target6
6Shots off target8
4Yellow Cards4
0Red Cards0
51Ball possession (%)49

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