• Date: Thu 24 June 2010
  • Venue: Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
  • Ref: Webb, H
  • Attendance: 53,412


Vittek (25)

Vittek (73)

Kopunek (89)

3 - 2


Di Natale (81)

Quagliarella (90)

Slovakia vs Italy

Team Lineups


Jan Mucha
Peter Pekarik
Martin Skrtel
Radoslav Zabavnik
Jan Durica
Zdeno Strba (Kamil Kopunek, 87)
Miroslav Stoch
Marek Hamsik
Juraj Kucka
Robert Vittek (Stanislav Sestak, 90)
Erik Jendrisek (Martin Petras, 90)


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

Match Report
Defending champions Italy crashed out of the World Cup following a 3-2 defeat to a gallant Slovakia side in their final Group F game. The Azzurri side that won the title so clinically in Germany four years ago finished off a dismal group campaign with a shock defeat to finish at the bottom of their World Cup pool for the first time in their history. Under-pressure coach Marcello Lippi made two changes to his starting line-up with Gennaro Gattuso and Antonio Di Natale in for Claudio Marchisio and Alberto Gilardino, but Italy were always second best on the day to a more committed Slovakia side. They should have been ahead in the seventh minute when Marek Hamsik fluffed his lines and mis-hit a left-foot volley from 15 yards to send the ball well wide. However, they were ahead on 25 minutes when Juraj Kucka picked up a loose ball out of defence and played in Robert Vittek, who made no mistake with an accurate low shot from 18 yards. Italy laboured through the rest of the first half and were lucky not to be further behind as goalkeeper Federico Marchetti had to dive at full-stretch to tip Zdeno Strba's 30-yard free-kick around the post, before Kucka lashed a 25-yard volley inches wide of the upright. Lippi sent on Fabio Quagliarella and Christian Maggio at half-time and veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo soon after, but Italy continued to play second fiddle to more determined opposition. They were perhaps unlucky when Martin Skrtel was in the right place at the right time to clear Quagliarella's goalbound shot off the line with replays suggesting the ball might have crossed the whitewash. But the game was affectively over on 73 minutes when Vittek capitalised on more hesitant defending as he reacted first when a corner was returned to the danger area to rifle home a low shot from close range. Italy finally awoke from their slumbers and Antonio Di Natale reduced the arrears on 81 minutes when he slotted home the loose ball after Quagliarella's low shot following a one-two had been saved. But all their hard work was undone moments later when substitute Kamil Kopunek was allowed to stroll through a static defence to latch on to a throw in and lob the ball over the exposed keeper. Quagliarella set up a grandstand finish with a second for Italy after producing a stunning lobbed finish from 18 yards to find the top corner, but Slovakia held on to record a famous victory and their first ever in World Cup finals history.
Live Text Commentary
Full time



Pepe holds his head as he wastes a gilt-edged chance to level the game and send Italy through as he scuffs a back-post volley wide when totally unmarked


Martin Petras comes on for Jendrisek as Slovakia run down the clock


SLOVAKIA 3-2 ITALY: Quagliarella picks out the top corner with a wonderful chipped effort but it's too little, too late for the Azzurri. Surely?


Italian fans packed inside Ellis Park are in shock as the defending world champions prepare to bow out of this tournament in meek fashion


SLOVAKIA 3-1 ITALY: It's surely game over now as KOPUNEK runs through a static defence to latch onto a throw in and lobs the ball over the desperate keeper. That's shocking defending and Slovakia deserve this win


It's all Italy but have they got enough left in their ageing legs to claw themselves level in this tense finish?


Slovakia send on Kamil Kopunek for Strba as they look to run down the clock


Quagliarella puts the ball into the back of the net after a shot ricochets to him but the flag goes up for offside. Italy can't believe it and it was a marginal call at best


Italy are streaking forward now as a draw would take them through as group runners-up. Finger nails are being bitten inside Ellis Park now!

Yellow Card

Mucha and Quagliarella are booked following a spot of handbags with the striker trying to retrieve the ball from the back of the net


SLOVAKIA 2-1 ITALY: Don't write off the world champions yet as Quagliarella's low shot following a one-two is saved and DI NATALE slots home the loose ball


Di Natale latches onto a quick free-kick move but the flag goes up for a marginal offside as Mucha comes out anyway to block his low shot


Slovakia are keeping the ball effectively even though it is Italy who need to score and the Azzurri fans packed inside Ellis Park can't believe what is happening to their side


Italy can have no complaints as they've been easily second best in this match to a more committed Slovakia side

Yellow Card

Pepe is booked for a frustrated hack at Zabavnik


SLOVAKIA 2-0 ITALY: This might be curtains for the defending champions as Chiellini is caught napping as a corner is returned to the danger area and VITTEK fires the ball home from close range


Chiellini saves Italy with a last-ditch tackle to prevent Hamsik from pulling the trigger when well placed just eight yards out


Stoch is played into acres of space and he closes in on goal, cuts inside the retreating Cannavaro, but drills his shot high and wide from the edge of the box


Skrtel is in the right place at the right time to get in the way of Quagliarella's goalbound shot on the line as the ball ricochets away to safety. The Liverpool defender looked suspiciously over the line but the referee waves play on


Maggio chases back to deny Stoch a clear run through on goal with some committed full-back play


Mucha is finally tested as he dives to pluck Di Natale's 20-yard bending shot out of the air with a comfortable save


Quagliarella doesn't look and tries to play in Zambrotta with an elaborate overhead pass which flies straight out of play


Pirlo came into this game carrying a calf injury and he doesn't look right. His touch is awful and he keeps giving the ball away cheaply


Cannavaro continues to look shaky at the back for Italy. He is letting every long ball forward bounce and it's as if he has forgotten the basis of defending!


Andrea Pirlo comes on in a third and final Italy change. Montolivo is the man to make way


Di Natale beats the offside trap but scuffs his ten-yard shot well wide as Italy continue to frustrate


Gianluca Zambrotta fails to trap a simple pass and the ball rolls out for a throw as howls of derision go up around the stadium


Marcello Lippi is barking out orders from the technical area but as yet it's having little or no effect


Mucha is told to get up by Webb as he rolls around claiming an injury following a collision with Quagliarella. He gingerly gets to his feet and unsurprisingly will be okay to continue!

Yellow Card

Peter Pekarik sees yellow for a wild tackle in midfield


There's no sign of urgency from the Azzurri and Slovakia look comfortable in their lead


Italy are seeing more of the ball in the early stages of the second half but they are yet to do anything with it


Marcello Lippi has made a double change with Fabio Quagliarella and Christian Maggio on for Gattuso and Criscito


Italy kick-off the second half needing to improve dramatically on their poor first period showing

Half time



Kucka lashes a 25-yard volley inches wide of the upright as Slovakia come within a whisker on the stroke of half-time


Three minutes will be added to this first half - mostly for that injury stoppage


The Slovakia midfielder is still receiving treatment on the pitch but will be stretchered off. He was about to be replaced but wants to come back on until half-time at least


Strba requires treatment after being left with a nasty gash on his knee following a Gattuso tackle. That looks really horrible but it was accidental


Skrtel gets away with a header inches over his own crossbar as an early cross threatens to get Italy back into this match. The Liverpool defender made a real mess of that but got away with it

Yellow Card

Vittek catches Cannavaro with a late lunge and he is booked by referee Webb. The Italian captain was rolling around like he had been shot just to make sure a card came out!


Montolivo mis-hits a 25-yard shot and Jan Mucha watches the ball roll harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick


Iaquinta lays the ball off to nobody and Italy's first-half performance at both ends of the pitch has been absolutely woeful


Marchetti dives at full-stretch to tip Strba's 30-yard free-kick around the post as Slovakia come close to a second goal


Slovakia continue to look the most dangerous side and these are worrying times for the reigning world champions

Yellow Card

Cannavaro cynically stops the run of Hamsik with a body check and that results in a yellow card


The Azzurri fans in the crowd look thoroughly unhappy as we approach the half hour. Italy just haven't got going


Montolivo clatters into Pekarik and is lucky to escape a caution in this niggly game


Marcello Lippi looks really agitated on the sidelines and it's understandable as Italy have been really poor


SLOVAKIA 1-0 ITALY: Disaster for the world champions as Kucka wins a loose ball and finds VITTEK who picks out the bottom corner with a low shot from 18 yards


Martin Skrtel runs 40 yards through the middle with the ball but can't bunde his way through the last line of defence and Cannavaro hacks the ball clear


Jendrisek out-paces Giorgio Chiellini and Fabio Cannavaro to a loose ball and the Italian defence looks decidedly dodgy


Jan Durica races back and stabs the ball away from Iaquinta. He stays down holding his face claiming a loose elbow from the Italy striker and this match is almost certain to feature a red card or two

Yellow Card

Zdeno Strba is the first name taken for a late lunge at Gattuso. That could have been any one of five or six players on either side!


Hamsik almost picks out Vittek in space six yards out but Marchetti claims a low cross well when under pressure


Erik Jendrisek crashes to the ground theatrically claiming a foul from Fabio Cannavaro but Webb rightly waves play on


Gattuso sends Robert Vittek flying with a late tackle and this is getting really tasty


Webb is certainly earning his match fee with pushing and shoving galore at every set-piece


Peter Pekarik catches Gattuso with a high foot and is lucky to avoid an early caution


Marek Hamsik fluffs his lines as he mis-hits a left-foot volley from 15 yards and the ball bounces wide. Italy were all over the place at the back there and it should really have been 1-0


Federico Marchetti punches away a dangerous cross when he could have caught it as Slovakia threaten for the first time


Vincenzo Iaquinta snatches at a half-chance and an angled shot from 12 yards rolls hopelessly wide as Slovakia get away with a defensive mistake


Italy are controlling possession in these early stages with Slovakia chasing the ball


Di Natale shows instant attacking intent with a looping half-volley which lands comfortably wide of the upright


Slovakia get this game underway in bright, sunny conditions with England's Howard Webb the man in the middle

Awaiting Kickoff

Slovakia are still very much alive despite picking up just one point so far and victory here over the reigning world champions would probably see them make the last 16

Awaiting Kickoff

Under-pressure coach Marcello Lippi has made two changes to his starting line-up with Gennaro Gattuso and Antonio Di Natale in for Claudio Marchisio and Alberto Gilardino

Awaiting Kickoff

The Azzurri have looked a shadow of the side that was crowned world champions four years ago during opening 1-1 draws with Paraguay and minnows New Zealand

Awaiting Kickoff

Italy must win their final Group F game against Slovakia at Ellis Park, Johannesburg this afternoon to avoid crashing out of the World Cup at the first hurdle