Misery for Italy
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Defending champion Italy was eliminated from the World Cup with a humbling 3-2 loss to Slovakia, which advanced.
For the third consecutive game, the Azzurri allowed an early goal and this time they never recovered.
Robert Vittek put Slovakia ahead in the 25th minute, taking advantage of an errant pass from midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Vittek doubled the lead from close range in the 73rd following a corner kick.
Antonio Di Natale scored for Italy in the 81st, but Kamil Kopunek ended Italy’s chances eight minutes later, even though Fabio Quagliarella scored in injury time.
It marked the end of an era for Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and Gennaro Gattuso, who already announced their retirement from the national team after the tournament. Coach Marcello Lippi is also moving on.