Thursday, June 24, 2010

The champions are out

The defending world champions of Italy have been a huge disappointment during this tournament, where in particular their match against New Zealand was a pathetic display. However, Slovakia had not been much better, and everyone expected that Italy, only needing a tie (in case New Zealand didn't defeat Paraguay), would pull their usual result and progress to the next round. However, I am not sure what the greatest surprise of the match was: that the Slovakians were so aggressive, or that the Italians were so poor.
What Italy did in the first half was simply one of the worse performances of this world cup, and the Slovakian 1-0 lead was fully deserved. Only in the second half, when Slovakia went ahead 2-0, did the Italians seem to wake up, and the entrance of Andrea Pirlo surely helped. The last minutes of the match were some of the most exciting we have seen in this World Cup, but the Slovakian victory of 3-2 was surely not expected. In any case, I really wish that I were in Bratislava as the party must have been a blast!

The defending world champions are out in the first round, and Italian fans have every reason to be angry with their national team, and I am certain that the reception of the team in Italy will not be quiet!
Congratulations to Slovakia though, who will be facing the Netherlands in a very difficult last-16!

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