Defending champions Italy crash out of World Cup


Defending champions Italy suffered a shock 2-3 defeat at the hands of Slovakia to crash out of the FIFA World Cup with Robert Vittek scoring twice in a drama-filled match to send his side to the round of 16 as Group F runners-up in Johannesburg on Thursday.

After a listless first half show, four-time champions Italy raised visions of a remarkable fightback after 0-2 down but eventually failed to stay further in the tournament.

It is the first time in the World Cup that the two previous finalists, Italy and France, both went out in the group stage.

Image: Italy's Fabio Cannavaro (C) shakes hands with Slovakia's Miroslav Stoch (L), as Fabio Quagliarella reacts after their 2010 World Cup Group F soccer match at Ellis Park stadium
Photographs: Reuters