Experience in South Africa to forget as Italy went out in the group stage


Italy went out of the World Cup on 24 June at Ellis Park in Johannesburg against Slovakia. The Lippi era also came to an end, after his second spell in charge. Italy couldn’t make it beyond the group stage, finishing bottom of the group with just two points.

It was an experience to forget, starting with a 1-1 draw in Cape Town against Paraguay in the opening fixture. Alcaraz opened the scoring before Daniele De Rossi scored the equaliser. Italy finished the game on the attack and looked as though they could win it but missed a number of chances. Unfortunately, Buffon also picked up an injury which ruled him out of the tournament.

In the second game against New Zealand, the Azzurri once again conceded from a set piece after the first chance created by the opponents. Smeltz’s goal was then cancelled out by a Iaquinta penalty.

In the third match, Slovakia won 3-2 to knock Italy out. Vittek scored two and Kopunek to end a cycle for the National Team as Di Natale and Quagliarella goals proved useless.