Italy comfortably beat 10-man Czech Republic to progress to the knock-out stages of the World Cup as Group E winners.
Former Everton defender Marco Materazzi gave the Azzurri a 25th-minute lead having only come on as a substitute eight minutes earlier before another replacement, Filippo Inzaghi, killed the game off four minutes from time.
The Czechs were forced to play with 10 men for the entire second half after Nuremberg midfielder Jan Polak was sent off for a second bookable offence.
It proved a hammer blow for Karel Bruckner's side, who did have their share of chances but were denied by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who made sure his team clinched three points.
After beating United States 3-0 in their opening fixture, the Czechs seemed certain to qualify from their group but they surprisingly lost their subsequent fixture against Ghana.
Italy, who should face Australia or Croatia next, are still unbeaten in the tournament and have almost certainly avoided holders Brazil in the second round.
The Czechs started the game with Aston Villa's Milan Baros up front. Baros, top scorer at Euro 2004, returned to play having missed the two opening games with a foot problem but he was lacking match fitness.
Italy coach Marcello Lippi surprisingly left out Serie A's top scorer Luca Toni and opted to play with trio Francesco Totti, Mauro Camoranesi and Alberto Gilardino up front.
The game began at a frenetic pace, with both teams determined to impose themselves on the game.
The Czechs should have taken an early lead with Pavel Nedved's dangerous cross from the left setting up Baros at the far post but his right-footed effort was cleared by Buffon.
The Juventus stopper was then forced to dive to his left to save Nedved's 30-yard strike.
Again Nedved warmed the hands of Buffon with a stinging drive which he managed to clear but only as far as Marek Jankulovski, whose close-range effort was cleared by the keeper.
With 17 minutes played, Lippi was forced to make his first substitution, with Materazzi replacing an injured Alessandro Nesta.
Midway though the first half, goalkeeper Petr Cech was forced to come off his line to punch away a dangerous ball following Radoslav Kovac's poor clearance from Fabio Grosso's cross.
The Azzurri finally broke the deadlock in the 25th minute with Materazzi latching onto Francesco Totti's corner to nod the ball past Chelsea star Cech.
The Czechs pressed forward in search of an equaliser but mustered little before the break, with Karel Poborsky's effort from the distance going off-target.
On the stroke of half-time, Jan Polak was shown his second yellow card of the game after an unnecessary challenge on Totti.
Midfielder Jiri Stajner replaced Poborsky after the re-start but it was the Azzurri who continued to dominate possession.
An unmarked Totti should have doubled his team's advantage three minutes later, but his weak effort proved easy for Cech. The keeper was then forced to palm away Totti's 30-yard strike towards the far post.
At the other end, Buffon saved Nedved's close-range effort after the Czech captain had successfully broken the Azzurri's defensive wall.
Italy put together a good move in reply, with Totti's free-kick finding Andrea Pirlo, whose first touch served Fabio Cannavaro at the far post but the captain's volley went high over the crossbar.
On the hour mark, Filippo Inzaghi came on in place of Gilardino as the Azzurri looked to kill the game off.
But Baros should have levelled the score but his header from Jankulovski's cross went into the stands.
At the other end, Camoranesi's header fizzed wide of Cech's far post.
Bruckner replaced Baros in the 64th minute with midfielder David Jarolim, leaving Stajner as their only man up front.
Inzaghi wasted a golden chance to make it 2-0 after a defensive blunder by the Czechs but the AC Milan forward failed to beat Cech with his touch going towards the far post.
It could have prove costly had Buffon not made a spectacular save from Nedved's formidable volley.
Simone Barone entered the pitch in place of a tired Camoranesi as Lippi attempted to reinforce his midfield with the Czechs looking more dangerous.
With 10 minutes remaining, Totti should have put the game beyond their opposition's reach but he failed to surprise Cech with a weak shot.
Inzaghi's weak header from Pirlo's cross then went inches wide of the far post.
The striker made amends shortly afterwards, with Simone Perrotta's pass slicing the Czech defence wide open and allowing Inzaghi to take the ball around Cech before securing victory.