World Cup: Group F MatchDay Commentary

World Cup: Group F MatchDay Commentary

World Cup 2010

World Cup: Group F MatchDay Commentary

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Italy Crest  Slovakia Crest  New Zealand Crest  Paraguay Crest

All four teams in Group F still have a realistic shot at progressing to the Round of 16, surely making the group's final matches as exciting as any.

Paraguay currently leads the group with four points, but the South Americans will play a New Zealand team (10am, ESPN2/ESPN3.com) that has managed two shocking draws, and whose confidence is at a high after becoming the Cinderella story of the tournament. 

Reigning World Cup champion Italy is coming off a shocking 1-1 draw against New Zealand, has only two points and now faces the possibility of being eliminated from the competition when it goes up against Slovakia (10am, ESPN/ESPN3.com). Italy will once again be without goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon due to injury, meaning Slovakia's chances of building on its one point earned and advancing have gone up.

This is Franco Panizo and I'll be providing live commentary on all the final Group F action, with a focus on the Italy-Slovakia game. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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FINAL- That's all for me for now. Please feel free to share your post-game thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. As always, stay tuned to SBI for more coverage of the World Cup as well as FoxSoccer.com.

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FINAL- Group F ends like this: Paraguay 5 points, Slovakia 4 points, New Zealand 3 points, Italy 2 points.

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FINAL- Slovakia and Paraguay are through. New Zealand doesn't advance, but it didn't lose a match at this World Cup to finish ahead of Italy in the group. The reigning World Cup champs are done.

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FINAL- What breathtaking stuff there at the end of this game. Italy can't believe it has been eliminated. Manager Marcello Lippi storms off the field in anger, and Quagliarella is in tears getting consoled by Cannavaro. Heartbreaking for the Azzurri, but a joyous and historic moment for Slovakia. 

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95th minute- And that's it! Slovakia holds on to a 3-2 win! For the first time since 1974, Italy is knocked out in the group stage!

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95th minute- WOW! Pepe gets a look on a long throw but he can't make good contact with the ball and it shanks wide left.  This one is surely over!

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94th minute- Paraguay-New Zealand game ends 0-0.

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94th minute- Italy getting a taste of its own medicine as Slovakia's players are diving for any bit of contact.

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92nd minute- GOAL ITALY! The Italians are down by one. Quagliarella lofts a ball over Mucha and the Azzurri is down by one. Can they do it?

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90th minute- Four minutes of stoppage time.

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89th minute- GOAL SLOVAKIA! 3-1!! Slovakia gets a throw in, and the Slovaks catch Italy's defense sleeping as Kopunek makes a run into the box, receives the throw in and magnificently flicks the ball over Marchetti. 

This one is over.

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87th minute- Italy pushing forward franticly in search of the equalizer.

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85th minute- WOW! Italy looked to have the equalizer, but the linesman rules Quafliarella offside. Good call, but intense stuff in the waning moments.

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81st minute- Some extracurricular activity happened after the goal inside Slovakia's net. 

Mucha went to pick up the ball so as to avoid Italy rushing back with it, but Iaquinta and Quagliarella practically mug Mucha to get the ball back. After getting what looked to be a couple of cheap shots on the 'keeper, Mucha hits Quagliarella who dramatically dives. Shameful stuff, and both players are given a yellow.

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80th minute- GOAL ITALY! Di Natale scores off a rebound after some nifty passing by the Italians, who now trail 2-1. 

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78th minute- If Italy fails to advance, both the 2006 World Cup finalists would be eliminated in group stages of this tournament. Much blame will go on both managers, but it is incredible really.

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76th minute- It is all but over for the reigning World Cup champions, unless something remarkable happens in the final quarter of an hour.

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75th minute- The initial corner by Hamsik was cleared but it fell back to the Slovakia captain, and he played a perfectly low ball to Vittek.

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74th minute- GOAL SLOVAKIA! 2-0! Vittek nets again by slotting the ball home from close range. WOW.

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73rd minute- Corner for Slovakia. Stoch whips it in and it is deflected out for another corner.

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71st minute- Paraguay-New Zealand still even at 0-0.

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69th minute- Game opening up a bit now. Italy pushing numbers forward while Slovakia has loads of space to work with on the counter.

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67th minute- WOW! Quagliarella volleys a shot on goal after a mistimed clearance by Mucha, but Skrtel comes up huge with a goal-line clearance. 

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63rd minute- Better buildup play by Italy, but Di Natale's shot is nicely saved by Mucha.

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58th minute- New Zealand and Paraguay remains scoreless.

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55th minute- Italy sub. Montolivo makes way as Pirlo replaces him.

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54th minute- Di Natale makes a good run into the box, receives the ball but his shot is dreadfully not even close to goal. How bad is this Italian side's finishing? 

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54th minute- Pirlo about to come on. Glancing at the screen for a second, I thought he was Mick Jagger. 

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51st minute- Andrea Pirlo is warming up. His creativity has certainly been missed so far for Italy in this World Cup.

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49th minute- Back to Italy-Slovakia. Iaquinta gets up and meets a cross but sends it well wide with his head! Wow, another missed opportunity. It wasn't even put on frame.

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47th minute- Over in the New Zealand-Paraguay game, Elliott gets a good look at top of 18 but his shot goes just high. Elliott almost found the upper 90 there.

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46th minute- And both second halves are underway. 45 minutes until we see who advances to the second round.

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HALFTIME- Two subs for Italy at the intermission: Gattuso and Criscito out. Fabio Quagliarella and Christian Maggio in.

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HALFTIME- If scores remained, here's how the group would finish: Paraguay 5 points, Slovakia 4 points, New Zealand 3 points, Italy 2 points.

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HALFTIME- Slovakia finishes the first 45 minutes of its game leading Italy 1-0. The Italians would be going home with this result.

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HALFTIME- Paraguay and New Zealand's half ends scoreless. Not a bad half defensively for New Zealand, but they will need a win if the Italy-Slovakia result remains.

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45th minute- Interesting. Just as Srba is about to get subbed off, he waves his finger from the far sideline to tell Slovakia's coaching staff that no sub is necessary. Midfielder Kamil Kopunek, who was going to come on for Srba, is brought back to the bench instead of into the game.

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43rd minute- Back to the Slovakia game, Srba gets fouled and his leg has a huge gash in it. He looks to be in lots of pain and might be coming off.

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40th minute- Couple of New Zealand players get fouled with studs up challenges.

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38th minute- Cardozo unleashes a shot from distance but it goes high of the goal.

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35th minute- Switching back to Paraguay-New Zealand for a little. Still 0-0.

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33rd minute- Marchetti parries a shot away after Srba hits one from distance. Italy is on its heels.

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32nd minute- Still scoreless between Paraguay and New Zealand.

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29th minute- Italy has no ideas going forward. Slovakia imposing its will half an hour into this game. 

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26th minute- With these results (1-0 Slovakia, 0-0 Paraguay-New Zealand), Slovakia would go through with Paraguay. Italy, the reigning World Cup champ, would finish last.

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25th minute- GOAL SLOVAKIA! 1-0! A costly turnover by Italy in its own half allows Vittek to slot home a shot. WOW.

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21st minute- Back to the Italy-Slovakia game. Not many clear opportunities thus far. No real sense of urgency right now.

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17th minute- Valdez for Paraguay gets down the left flank past a couple defenders but his cross finds nobody.

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15th minute- Paraguay and New Zealand still scoreless.

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12th minute- Lots of chippy stuff so far. Gattuso upset after a foul is called on him. Surprising, I know.

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10th minute- Free kick for Italy, but a foul is called on Iaquinta as the service reaches the 18.

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6th minute- Hamsik gets an open look and tries to volley the ball but he doesn't completely connect and his shot goes wide. He should have done much better with that one.

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4th minute- Iaquinta finds some space on the left side of the penalty area but his shot doesn't challenge Mucha as it rolls wide left.

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1st minute- Both games are underway.

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PRE-GAME- Teams are out for national anthems. Who is everyone picking to advance today?

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PRE-GAME- Here are the starting lineups for the Italy-Slovakia match:

ITALY

———————-Di Natale—————————

————Iaquinta——————Pepe————–

——–Montolivo——-De Rossi——–Gattuso——

—Criscito——Chiellini—–Cannavaro—-Zambrotta–

————————-Marchetti—————————-

SLOVAKIA

——————Vittek——————————-

—————————–Jendrisek—————-

———Hamsik————————Stoch——–

————–Strba——————Kucka————–

—Zabavnik——Durica——-Skrtel——Pekarik—

————————-Mucha—————————-

PRE-GAME- Here are the starting lineups for the Paraguay-New Zealand match:

PARAGUAY

———–Santa Cruz———-Cardozo———-

—-Valdez—-V. Caceres——Riveros——-Vera–

–Rodriguez—J. Caceres—–Da Silva—-Caniza—

————————Villar————————–

NEW ZEALAND

————————Fallon—————————

————Smeltz——————Killen————–

—Lochhead—–Vicelich——-Elliott——–Bertos—-

———–Smith——–Nelsen————Reid———-

————————-Paston—————————-

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