Johannesburg, Jun 25: In probably the biggest shocker of the 19th FIFA World Cup so far, four-time World Champs Italy made a devastating exit from the tournament.
Italy was thrashed 3-2 by Slovakia at Ellis Park on Thursday, Jun 24. This is the first time in 36 years that Italy has failed to qualify from the first round.
Taking advantage of the worst ever defence put up by Italy, Robert Vittek scored twice for the Slovaks and substitute Kamil Kopunek, who entered the game in the 87th minute, scored on his first touch.
What added to the shock factor is the fact that Slovakia had failed to impress in their first two matches in South Africa. And adding to the shame for the Italians, the team finished at the bottom of the pile in Group F.
The Slovaks will be clashing against Netherlands in the knockout stage.
Netherlands finished on the top of Group E defeating Cameroon 2-1 in the last match.
The group stage of the FIFA World Cup 2010 has been decked with twists at every turn. The ouster of the defending champs comes after France bowed out of the tournament just a few days ago after performing consistantly poor through the group stage.