I Haven’t Seen An Italian Run This Poorly Since The Time I Bought That Used Fiat

the defending champions are gone, following a pathetic run thru the group stage, not quite on par with the French. the Italians fell behind in all three games, managing to scrape by with ties against Paraguay and New Zealand. their luck ran out against Slovakia, with a 3-2 loss.

Italy once again got off to a slow start, conceding a goal in the 25th goal, thanks to a turnover by Daniele De Rossi. Robert Vittek added his second goal of the match for the Slovaks in the 73rd minute from a corner kick set-piece, seemingly putting the match away.

it was then that Italy decided they should start playing like defending world champions. Antonio Di Natale got the Italians on the board, with a rebound off a shot from Fabio Quagliarella, in the 81st minute. but, Slovakia substitute Kamil Kopunek scored on his first touch of the game in the 89th minute, off a throw-in, and some sloppy defending by the Italians.

Quagliarella struck back for the Italians in stoppage time, floating a nice shot in from 20 yards, over the outstretched hand of GK Jan Mucha. in the end, it was too little, too late. why Italy didn’t play this way for the first 80 minutes of the match is anyone’s guess.

Slovakia finish second in the group, and more than likely will face my sleeper pick, Netherlands, in the second round. Paraguay clinched the top spot in the group with their scoreless draw against New Zealand, and will end up playing either Denmark or Japan next.

and how about those Kiwis?!? ranked 78th heading in to the World Cup, and they end up finishing third in the group, ahead of Italy, and not losing a game.


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