Full-time - 90'
3 - 2
14:00 +00:00, June 24, 2010
Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
Referee: Howard Webb
You can read our match report here, and remember to stick with Soccernet for all the post-match reaction.
Italy finish bottom of the group. I wonder what odds you could have got on that? They finish without a win to their name. Only France have plumbed lower depths than that in this tournament.
Paraguay are likely to face Japan or Denmark while Netherlands will probably be Slovakia's opponents in the next round.
Thanks for following the game with us at Soccernet. It really was a priviledge to watch. Well, the second half at least.
Quagliarella is in tears, Slovakia are dancing with delight. It is an emotional end to a memorable match. Slovakia win 3-2 and Fabio Cannavaro walks off the pitch, his international career now over.
FULL TIME! Sensational stuff! Slovakia go through with a 3-2 win over Italy that sends the reigning champions out. Remarkable. Paraguay top the group after a thrilling, engrossing contest in Johannesburg.
We are into the seventh minute of injury time, and how Pepe will rue that miss.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Pepe's miss was astonishing. This game may descend into bad blood.
Into the fifth minute of injury time and Pepe wastes a great chance at the back post as he pokes the ball wide. What drama.
Now Stoch is down as the seconds tick away. Poor tactics from the Slovakians.
Jendrisek comes off and is replaced by Petras.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Wow. Just wow. Mucha makes Jens Lehmann look like Gary Mabutt. Slovakia's turn to worry but Italy need a miracle.
Full time in Polokwane and it is 0-0, so as things stand Paraguay top the group.
Mucha goes down to waste a bit of time after clashing with Chiellini. Into the final minute now.
ESPN Stats & Info: Italy would be the fourth defending champion to be knocked out in the group stage, joining France in 2002, Brazil in 1966 and Italy again in 1950.
One goal will do it now, and Italy have two minutes of added time in which to get it!
GOAL! Surely not? Quagliarella scores a stunning strike as he dinks the ball out of the reach of Mucha. A sumptuous finish.
We will have four minutes of added time.
Incredible from Slovakia. What a performance and what a result. Heroic stuff. Italy rallied late on but they don't deserve to go through, they have been awful at this World Cup.
GOAL! That, I'm afraid, is that. Italy are heading home. Kopunek, the substitute, bisects De Rossi and Cannavaro to latch onto a throw into the box and lifts the ball over Marchetti and into the far corner. A delightful finish.
Iaquinta gets in front of Mucha to meet a cross but Di Natale cannot control as the ball squirms in his direction.
Italy just need one goal. As do New Zealand over in Polokwane. What a dramatic finish we have in store.
Kopunek replaces Strba - it is the change that almost happened at the end of the first half.
Just to reiterate, if Italy score now then they will go through having scored more goals than New Zealand.
Goal disallowed for Italy! Quagliarella taps in from close range in the centre of the box but is just, just, offside.
Italy throw the ball into the box and we have a nervy seven minutes ahead of us. Now Quagliarella has a shot blocked.
Quagliarella goes into the book as the fall-out from that tangle continues. He appeared to question Webb's decision making.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Howard Webb is losing grip on his future participation in these finals. He should have sent off Mucha, who should have been booked before anyway.
Mucha is booked after it all kicks off in the box! Di Natale and Iaquinta tried to get the ball back quickly immediately after the goal was scored and Mucha clashed with the pair, provoking furious reactions from both sets of players.
GOAL! Di Natale pulls a goal back as he taps in after Quagliarella's initial effort is saved. Iaquinta released Quagliarella with a lovely backheel.
Di Natale forces Mucha into a fine save as he races off his line, but the flag was raised for offside.
It's been a disaster for Italy. But what a result this will be for Slovakia. No one fancied them to get out of the group and they have produced a fine display. However, if New Zealand score it will be them and not Slovakia who progress with Paraguay.
ESPN Stats & Info: Italy has never come back from two goals down to win or draw a World Cup match.
Marcello Lippi really has soured his legacy with this campaign. He should never have taken the job again after winning in 2006.
Well, well, well. What a scoreline. This has been a dismal performance from Italy and the world champions are heading for an early flight home.
Pepe lashes out and chops down Stoch. That was a terrible challenge.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Unbelievable scenes. Actually, no they are not. Italy are a rabble. And Slovakia have their just desserts. Though all eyes must be on Paraguay v New Zealand now.
GOAL! Robert Vittek with his second goal for Slovakia! Hamsik's corner forced Chiellini into a poor header and when the cross came back in, he was not alert to the danger of Vittek who nipped in front of him and slotted the ball past Marchetti.
Stoch's delivery is turned behind and Slovakia have another set-piece.
Chiellini is forced into action to produce a sliding challenge on Hamsik in the box. A corner for Slovakia.
The game is opening up and Mucha clears from Iaquinta's cross. At the other end, Vittek again does superbly to win the ball in the air, but the move breaks down.
Simone Pepe has struggled to exert any influence on the game.
Stoch has the chance to put Italy out when he dances down the pitch, cuts inside and lashes a shot at goal, but his effort soars past the far post.
Pepe with the delivery from the right again but he cannot find a team-mate. Italy are probing here, but are failing to create enough clear-cut chances.
ESPN Stats & Info: The last time Italy did not win any of their group stage matches was in 1982, when they drew all three before going on to win the title.
Vincenzo Iaquinta has endured a difficult afternoon so far.
Martin Skrtel clears off the line! Mucha is stranded from a Pepe cross and when Quagliarella controls and volleys viciously, the Liverpool defender is on hand to knock the ball clear. Great defending.
Quagliarella feeds Pepe on the right of the box and his cross is deflected wide for a corner.
Stoch looks to have wriggled clear of Maggio but the defender recovers and halts the little winger, who trips him to concede a foul.
THe Italian bench are all standing and the nervous tension is evident. They are staring down the barrel here.
Jendrisek does superbly to win a corner, he just wouldn't let that go. From the set-piece, Slovakia fail to test Marchetti.
Di Natale exchanges passes with Quagliarella and curls a good shot at goal from just outside the box. Mucha fumbles the ball but gathers at the second attempt. That is more positive from Italy.
Vittek heads the ball back to Jendriksen but his lofted pass back into the box is cut out. Meanwhile, Hamsik fouls Pirlo.
Pirlo slips in Zambrotta down the left but his cross is claimed by Mucha. That earlier piece of playacting from the 'keeper really was Mucha Do About Nothing. I just wish it hadn't taken me ten minutes to think of that.
Italy goalkeeper Federico Marchetti comes to claim the ball.
The Italy defence stands firm to repel a free kick and Cannavaro then dispossesses Jendriksen. Slovakia do not look dangerous at present, but the onus is on Italy of course.
This is a big ask for Pirlo. He has been struggling with a calf injury for weeks and this is his first contribution to the tournament. Italy need something from the playmaker, and soon.
Just ten minutes into the second half and Italy make their final change as the majestic Pirlo is summoned to save the game.
A chance goes begging for Italy as Di Natale latches onto a cute through-ball but fails to wrap his boot around the ball and fires wide.
Marcello Lippi has his head in his hands on the touchline. Meanwhile, Pirlo is warming up, despite his injury problems.
Kucka ducks past a challenge and, with a rush of blood to the head, takes aim from 35 yards. A stupid effort, and it is blocked.
I get the feeling we may be having a bit more of that in this game as it progresses.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Howard Webb was right to spot what the Slovak keeper was up to but he should have booked him for that ludicrous act of simulation.
Howard Webb, to his credit, was having none of it. Mucha clambers to his feet and he should have a very red face.
It appears something has happened off the ball. Quagliarella goes over to hurry Mucha as he wanders over to collect the ball and the 'keeper goes to ground like he has been shot when the two knock into each other. More embarrassing playacting from this World Cup.
Pepe picks out Iaquinta with a deflected cross following good work from Maggio but the striker only brushes the ball with his head. A poor miss.
Pekarik is shown a yellow for a late challenge on Quagliarella.
Maggio, by the way, has gone to right back with Gianluca Zambrotta switching to the left. Clearly Lippi was unimpressed with Criscito.
Skrtel bravely heads clear and his head connects with the boot of Iaquinta. A quick rub of the skull and he is back up and running.
So Fabio Quagliarella joins the attack as the defensive Gattuso is removed. A positive move, but will it pay off?
Quagliarella replaces Gattuso and Maggio is on for Criscito. That is decisive stuff from Lippi.
What do Italy have in their locker? The next 45 minutes will tell us...
Robert Vittek fires in Slovakia's opening goal.
Italy will qualify if they can pull a goal back and the other game remains goalless. Over in Polokwane, New Zealand know if they somehow sneak a goal they will be in the last 16 of the World Cup. A group that has delivered little entertainment so far looks set to provide real drama today.
I think it would be hard to understate just how lamentable Italy have been so far. They clearly miss Pirlo, but that is no excuse for a flaccid display. This will be a shocking way to exit the World Cup.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Buffon there was screaming in anguish at his fellow subs. Not happy at all.
Slovakia celebrate Robert Vittek's opener.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Italy have been truly horrible. Slovakia deserve their lead because they have created chances. That looks a huge ask for an Italian side without inspiration or, seemingly, belief.
HALF-TIME Slovakia lead world champions Italy 1-0 thanks to Robert Vittek's goal. Lippi's men are heading home as things stand, with Slovakia looking to join Paraguay in qualifying. We could have a remarkable result on our hands here.
Vittek holds the ball up superbly on the edge of the box and flicks a pass to Kucka, who hits a ferocious first-time volley that flies narrowly wide. What an effort.
Jan Durica hammers a free kick against the wall as the seconds tick away before half-time.
If Italy do manage to pull a goal back as things stand, they will qualify ahead of New Zealand by virtue of a superior goals scored tally. So a glimmer of hope.
We will have three additional minutes in Johannesburg.
Kamil Kopunek looks ready to replace Strba but he signals he is okay to continue just as his replacement is about to enter the field.
Gattuso clearly caught him high on the knee but only because of his follow-through when clearing the ball.
Strba looks in some pain and Howard Webb calls for a stretcher. Gattuso has opened up a huge gash on his knee. That is nasty.
ESPN Stats & Info: The last time Italy came back from a goal down to win a World Cup match was in 1994 in the second round against Nigeria.
That was a worrying moment for Slovakia, who have otherwise looked comfortable in this game. Skrtel is a lucky boy.
Slovakia almost score an own goal! Skrtel gets himself mixed up when attempting to deal with a cross and heads the ball over the bar.
Cannavaro writhes in pain after Vittek treads on the top of his foot, and the striker is booked.
Italy are reduced to a long-range effort from Riccardo Montolivo that dribbles wide. This really has been shocking from the Azzurri, absolutely awful.
Slovakia midfielder Juraj Kucka heads the ball.
ESPN Stats & Info: Both previous finalists have never been eliminated at the group stage. However, there were three instances in which neither advanced because one failed to qualify.
Italy are sloppy in possession once again but when Hamsik crosses from the right he fails to pick out a team-mate. Italy really have been woeful. What with France's problems, it has not been a good tournament for the finalists of four years ago.
Strba tests Marchetti from all of 30 yards and the 'keeper scrambles across to tip the ball wide. Italy deal with the subsequent corner.
Fabio Cannavaro, who has already been booked, clatters into Hamsik with a late challenge and he could well have been off there. Less generous refs would have produced the red.
Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon, two of the heroes of 2006, watch ruefully from the bench. How Italy are missing them, Buffon for his leadership and Pirlo for his ability to open up a defence and dictate a game.
Gennaro Gattuso battles with goalscorer Robert Vittek.
Fabio Cannavaro is booked for blocking off Jendriksen.
So what is wrong with this Italy team? They are getting on a bit of course, but that is no excuse for their poor performances to date. No invention, no spirit.
Di Natale looks for a free kick but Howard Webb says he went over too easily. It isn't an outlandish suggestion in all honesty.
This would be a shock of some magnitude. For all their faults, Italy are the reigning world champions and to fail to win a game in a group comprising New Zealand, Paraguay and Slovakia would be horrendous. Lippi's fall from grace would be complete.
So will Italy become the worst team at this World Cup? Aside from France of course, but then they weren't really here, were they?
ESPN Stats & Info: Italy's last three matches at the World Cup have seen them concede first before drawing 1-1.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Italy in utter disarray there. De Rossi made an awful effort and the 'keeper looked beaten far too easily. The champions look to be heading out and the spectre of lots-drawing may have abated. That can still happen if both teams draw 1-1.
That means Italy are heading home with New Zealand as things stand, with Slovakia qualifying alongside Paraguay.
GOAL! It is Slovakia would you believe! De Rossi is at fault as his sloppy pass is intercepted and Vittek produces a first-time effort that slides past Marchetti and inside the far post. A lovely finish.
Martin Skrtel, of all people, thunders into the Italy box and attempts to fumble his way past a couple of defenders. Unsurprisingly, he fails.
ESPN Stats & Info: Going into today's match, Italy have scored in 13 consecutive World Cup matches, the longest active streak. The second-highest total is Chile with eight.
Miroslav Stoch delivers a corner from the right but the ball soars over Hamsik at the back post and away for a throw. Disappointing.
Both games are lacking in any action and if there are no goals then we will draw lots to see if Italy or New Zealand go through. Does FIFA hold a special ceremony? Will the lovely Charlize Theron be handed presenting duties again?
Durica slides in to deny Iaquinta and takes an arm to the face. We have another stoppage.
Now Radoslav Zabavnik clatters into Pepe to concede another free kick. This has been a bit of a stop-start game so far.
Italy take a quick free kick in the centre of the park and De Rossi attempts a long-range effort but his shot is blocked.
Strba goes into Webb's book for a poor tackle on Gattuso. Not a man you want to anger.
Just to underline, if both scores remain the same, then Italy and New Zealand will draw lots to see who goes through. That would be a ridiculous scenario, why not use the disciplinary record to settle it?
Marek Hamsik bursts into the box and attempts to pick out Vittek with a square pass, but Marchetti cuts out the cross. A neat move from Slovakia.
Erik Jendriksen challenges for a high ball and lans bang on his face. That must have hurt.
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: Slovakia seem unperturbed so far. This has not been the most fluid start from Italy. No passing game to speak of.
ESPN Stats & Info: Italy have only allowed two shots on goal so far in this tournament, and both have gone in.
Marchetti comes and punches clear from Stoch's free kick as Slovakia fail to make anything of the set-piece.
Gattuso looks perplexed after Howard Webb blows his whistle for a foul on Vittek. Not sure about that one.
Di Natale whips in a free kick from the left and after Fabio Cannavaro flicks it on, Iaquinta is penalised for holding. He smacks the ball home for good measure though.
Now Zdeno Strba treads on the ankle of Domenico Criscito. Ouch.
Giorgio Chiellini is sent sprawling as Juraj Kucka leaves his foot in when closing the defender down. The ref keeps his cards in his pocket on this occasion though.
Italy look keen to utilise the aerial presence of Iaquinta and are flinging a few long balls in the direction of the Juve forward. If he can find Di Natale with his knockdowns, that could be a fruitful tactic.
Mind you, he is probably wary of what will happen if he knocks Italy out. Remember what happened to Ahn Jung-Hwan in 2002?
Great chance for Hamsik! Vittek flicks on a long ball and the midfielder is in acres of space in the box. He takes it first time and skews his shot wide. A horrible finish.
Slovakia have shown little attacking intent so far but they are unlikely to open themselves up to Italy for no good reason.
Italy carve out a second chance of the game but Vincenzo Iaquinta gets his finish horribly wrong inside the box. That was a half-chance for the Juventus striker.
Marek Hamsik, of Napoli fame, will be keen to impress today having had a poor tournament so far, but his first contribution is to foul Di Natale.
That Di Natale chance aside, it has been a low-key opening, probably what you would expect from two teams who have scored three goals between them in their two games.
Just 14 seconds in and Di Natale hammers a dipping volley over the bar from 30 yards. That was an opportunistic attempt, and worth a punt.
Right then, we are just seconds away from kick-off. This could get complicated, but Italy know that a win takes them through.
ESPN Stats & Info: The only previous encounter between these two sides was a 3-0 win for Italy in 1998. Prior to the Slovakia?s independence, Italy won both of their meetings with Czechoslovakia at the World Cup finals (2-0, 2-1).
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: A sea of blue here - but then again, both play in blue. Italy, of course, are well supported. Yet there a smattering of Slovaks. Hearteningly, there a number of local schools present. They are enjoying the militaristic hum of the Italians' national anthem.
The teams line up for the national anthems, and that stirring Italian song rings out around Ellis Park. It's a great anthem.
After that defeat, Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss launched into a tirade of expletives at journalists who questioned his tactics. Who does he think he is, Diego Maradona?
Comment from John Brewin in Johannesburg: A dull drone of horns greets a barely-filled Ellis Park. Italy need a win to secure progress but are yet to convince. Slovakia meanwhile need to recover from their poor outing against the Paraguayans.
The team that tops the group, most likely Paraguay, will probably play Netherlands in the next round. The team that finishes second can prepare for Denmark or Japan.
It would be a huge shock if Italy were to go out today, but they have been far from impressive in the tournament so far, drawing with Paraguay and, incredibly, New Zealand. Gattuso should give them more bite though.
ESPN Stats & Info: The last time Italy failed to make it out of the group stage at the World Cup was in 1974.
Slovakia can still qualify despite taking one point from their opening two games. They will have to win today though and hope that Paraguay win or draw with New Zealand. They can also qualify with a Paraguay defeat if they enjoy a four-goal swing over the South Americans.
Get your calculators out, it's time for the permutations. The equation is fairly simple for Italy in that if they defeat Slovakia, they will be safely through to the second round. They will also qualify with a draw if New Zealand lose, while a point will also be enough if New Zealand draw and Italy outscore the minnows today.
As for Slovakia, they make a raft of changes, the most notable being the inclusion of Miroslav Stoch in place of the coach's son, Vladimir Weiss jr. That is an interesting move.
Ah, Gattuso. What a man he is. His wide-eyed mania was one of the most memorable things about the last World Cup for me. Such passion.
As for the team news from the Italy camp, Marcello Lippi has dropped Alberto Gilardino and Claudio Marchisio following some unconvincing performances, with Antonio Di Natale coming into a front three and Gennaro Gattuso bolstering midfield.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the culmination of Group F. World champions Italy could be heading home in a couple of hours, joining France in the ranks of fallen giants. Slovakia stand in their way.
Join us at 1400 GMT to see if Italy can progress from Group F over Slovakia.
Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete has said money is the reason European sides have so far failed to impress at the World Cup.