A rampant Luca Toni scored twice to end Ukraine's World Cup odyssey and take Italy into the World Cup semi-finals.
Toni finally ended his goalscoring drought on German soil with two second-half
goals to crush the hopes of an entire nation.
Gianluca Zambrotta had opened the scoring in the sixth minute before last
season's top Serie A scorer stole the limelight.
Toni headed the Azzurri's second shortly before the hour mark before capping a
wonderful evening for Marcello Lippi's men shortly after.
Playing in their first ever quarter-final, the Ukrainians looked nervous and
jittery and were at the mercy of their rivals in the opening half.
Oleg Blokhin's men did battle after the re-start and were only denied by
superb saves from Gianluigi Buffon before Toni killed them off.
An estimated 46million Ukrainians back home watched their heroes make their
exit and the Ukrainian players can feel proud of having gone so far in what has
been a sensational first World Cup campaign.
Italy now take on host nation Germany in Tuesday's semi-final in Dortmund.
Francesco Totti, whose last-gasp penalty as a substitute secured a 1-0 win for
the Azzurri in their last 16 match with Australia, returned to the starting XI
playing behind lone striker Toni.
Lippi's decision to drop Alberto Gilardino and play with Toni from the start
surprised many with the former having played in all four of the previous matches
but it proved a cunning move after all.
Ukraine surrendered possession very easily and were punished early on.
Zambrotta picked up a lay-off from Totti and fired a left-footed shot from 25
yards towards the near post which stunned goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy.
The keeper did get a touch but it was not sufficient to prevent the opening
The Ukrainians looked rattled and nervous and it was the Azzurri who could
have doubled their lead 10 minutes later, but Totti's central free-kick proved
an easy catch for Shovkovskyi.
Blokhin, clearly unhappy with his team's poor start, made his first
substitution shortly after, with forward Andriy Vorobey replacing defender
They did show more aggression with Sviderskyi's inclusion but still struggled
to get past Italy's well-placed defence.
The Ukrainians had the first opportunity on the half-hour mark, with Anatoliy
Tymoschuk's 30-yard effort going wide of Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's
At the other end, Andriy Rusol did well to clear Andrea Pirlo's dangerous
free-kick with Toni ready to head home.
Blokhin's men pressed forward in search of the equaliser but they mustered
little before the break, apart from Andriy Shevchenko's effort from the edge of
the area which took a deflection off Fabio Cannavaro and forced Buffon to dive
to his right.
Blokhin suffered another setback with Rusol forced to leave the pitch just
before half-time having sustained a foot injury and he was replaced by Vladyslav
For all their superiority in the opening half, the Azzurri escaped twice
unharmed with Maksym Kalinichenko's angled effort towards the box poorly cleared
by Andrea Barzagli.
Buffon then made a spectacular one-handed save from Andriy Gusin's close-range
header to keep his team ahead.
Italy cleared the corner but Ukraine played it back in and Gusev's far-post
header was superbly tipped away by Buffon.
The goalkeeper headed the post as he made the save and needed treatment.
With 53 minutes played, Vorobey's excellent cross was taken off Shevchenko's
head by the solid Cannavaro, a vital clearance as the Chelsea skipper would
surely have scored.
Italy were holding on with Gusev's drive warming the hands of Buffon but the
ball fell out to Kalinichenko whose goal-bound effort was cleared from inside
the box by a defender.
Just when their rivals were playing at their best Italy struck their second.
Totti curled an inviting ball towards the far post which found Toni who scored
with a diving header to make it 2-0.
The Ukrainians never gave up hope and were unlucky not to reduce the deficit
three minutes later, with Gusin latching onto Kalinichenko's brilliant cross
only to be denied by the crossbar.
With 23 minutes left to play, Lippi made a double substitution with Simone
Barone and Massimo Oddo replacing Camoranesi and Pirlo.
Toni put the game beyond their opposition's reach one minute later, as he
tapped in from Zambrotta's low cross.
With 10 minutes left, Buffon denied Shevchenko the consolation goal by
punching away his powerful free-kick.
The Ukrainians could only wait for the final whistle as the Italians got the
party under way.