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Group F: Paraguay, Slovakia advance as Italy is eliminated

Italy 1 (Reuters)  


Italy entered the World Cup hoping to go into the history books for becoming just the third team to ever successfully defend its title. While Italy did make history at this World Cup, it wasn't for that reason.

Italy was eliminated from Group F on Wednesday as it lost to Slovakia, 3-2, in a game that ended in thrilling fashion. The loss not only saw Italy finish at the bottom of the group, it also gave the Azzurri, along with France, the distinct title of becoming the first pair of teams to fail to make it out of their groups after being World Cup finalists in the previous tournament.

Slovakia will be joined by group leader Paraguay in the Round of the 16, as the South Americans secured advancement into the second round with a 0-0 draw with New Zealand. The All Whites may not have advanced, but they'll likely have their heads held high after not losing a match in the group.

Here are brief recaps from Group F's games as well as the group's bext XI:


It wasn't the most thrilling game at this World Cup, but for Paraguay it was one to remember.

In a rather dull affair, Paraguay won Group F with a 0-0 draw against New Zealand. The draw marked the third World Cup in the last four that the Paraguayans have reached the second round (the team did not qualify for the 2006 World Cup), and also continued South America's dominance in this tournament.

New Zealand showed more urgency in the waning moments of the match, but by then it was too late to salvage its World Cup hopes of reaching the second round. Regardless of being eliminated, New Zealand will take confidence in knowing it didn't lose a match at this World Cup after being labeled one of the tournament's minnows.


Facing a must-win situation, Slovakia secured its place in the Round of 16 after a feisty, intense and breathtaking 3-2 victory over reigning World Cup champion Italy.

Robert Vittek netted his first of two goals in the first half after a costly turnover by Italy in its own half. Vittek would add to the lead by scoring from close range in the 73rd off a pass from Marek Hamsik.

Italy responded through an Antonio Di Natale rebound in the 81st, but gave up a third goal to second-half substitute Kamil Kopunek. Kopunek made a well-timed run on a throw-in to catch the Azzurri defense sleeping before beautifully chipping the ball over goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.

Italy would again pull one back, as Fabio Quagliarella delicately lofted a shot over Jan Mucha in the 92nd minute. Simone Pepe then had a last-gasp chance to equalize, but he failed to get good contact on the ball.


1. Paraguay……….5 points, +2 goal differential

2. Slovakia……….4 points, -1 goal differential

3. New Zealand……….3 points, 0 goal differential

4. Italy……….2 points, -1 goal differential



—-Vera——-Riveros—–De Rossi—–Hamsik—-




Who do you think will go further in the knockout stages, Paraguay or Slovakia? Surprised by Italy's elimination? Impressed by New Zealand's performance at the World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. From the coverage I saw, Lippi was into the tunnel in record time and didn’t look back. And since the shot right before that was following V. Weiss (coach) hugging anyone around him, safe to say Lippi didn’t give any congratulations.

  2. Well, I’m a little sad to see Italy gone. And I’m also a little sad for G.Rossi too. But I hear he’s a getting a new gig to start in the new Jersey shore soapopera. Should be good. He’s a nice person. He deserves it.

    So how about those Yankees?:)

  3. Wow! Weird to see a Guatemalan cheering for Mexico rather than Argentina. I’m American with Spanish/Guatemalan decent. So here is my wish. Argentina 6 Mexico 0! This would make me giggle all year like a little girl listening to Hannah Montana. After that, I would like Argentina to go home quitely along with Maradroga. 😉

  4. europeans will always dominante when the cup is played in europe, which is every other cup.

    furthermore, they have the most teams by far permitted into the cup each cycle, so there will always be a good chance they will dominate even if the traditional powers go out. let’s look at the finalists of the last few cups: 06=italy/france, 02=brazil/germany, 98=france/brazil, 94=brazil/italy, 90=w.germany/italy… and so on. every one of those finals had at least one european team, and this year, who’s to say we won’t have another… england, germany, netherlands, and slovakia are already through, and spain and portugal look poised to qualify as well.

    i would attempt to list the semifinalists for those last tournaments as well, but i think we see the point. the cup is pretty much a south american/european affair, and will be for the forseeable future

  5. these bums need to put american players on the front covers… is it just me, or do others feel like our announcers don’t give enough credit or excitement to the US performances? i can’t stand lalas, but at least you can tell he’s from the US and is completely behind the guys. same whenever you hear from wynalda.

    harkes, totally different story. he’s always talking about how jozy is not dangerous or not playing well ‘for him’ (although many of our most dangerous moments have come off of jozy masterpieces), he’s consistently talking about the 2002 or 2006 teams (this 2010 team is by far our best and most exciting team), and he was totally overpowered by his partner when donovan scored the goal to put us through. imagine if that was lalas or wynalda on the call. you serious? yet, we’re relying on the brit to show some emotion

    get real

  6. i agree. sometimes the players based in europe forget that this is a world game, and always find something to complain about when the tournament is not in europe… USA=too hot, S.Africa=too loud, S.Korea/Japan=too hot/weird food, Mexico=too high and smoggy, and so on…

    they just need to come play ball. i wonder what they’ll say when china finally gets a world cup?!

  7. let’s just be happy that we all keep the ‘american’ after whatever we hyphenate it with…

    unity in diversity. when you pull on the strip, ‘USA’ with nothing in front… when telling our stories, _____-american

  8. Just cause you don’t know where you came from doesn’t mean that the rest of us don’t. You are who you are and should never forget it.

  9. Did anyone notice if Lippi shook hands after the game with the Slovak coach Weiss? Looks like he just stormed off the field. Not very sporting if he didn’t and should be reprimanded by FIFA.

  10. Yet another overrated, overhyped, relying-on-past results-when-no-one-else-played-soccer-competitively UEFA country goes down in flames. BEAUTIFUL. Germany ’06 will go down as the last Cup of European dominance — they’re getting exposed in South Africa and they better get used to it. VIVA CONCACAF ASIA CONMEBOL!

    Thanks for sharing, old Europe…now we take.

  11. I wonder was Rossi ‘s thinking after Lippi didn’t even consider him for the wc squad and the US advanced 1st in his group, lol, that’s so great


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