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Czech Republic 0-2 Italy
Thursday, 22 June 2006




Italy fans

Italy's anxious fans know their side will go out of the World Cup if they lose to the Czechs and Ghana beat the USA

Fabio Cannavaro tackles Milan Baros

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro tackles Milan Baros in the opening minutes of the Group E encounter

Pavel Nedved shoots

Pavel Nedved has a shot at the Italian goal as the Czech Republic make a strong start to the match

Alessandro Nesta leaves the pitch

Italy suffer a setback when key defender Alessandro Nesta limps off injured in the 17th minute

Marco Materazzi scores

But Nesta's replacement, Marco Materazzi, puts Italy in front by heading home Francesco Totti's corner

Materazzi celebrates

The goal - Materazzi's first for his country - is against the run of play and puts Italy in pole position to reach the next round

Jan Polak is sent off

Worse follows for the Czechs when Jan Polak is sent off for a second bookable offence in first-half stoppage time

Pavel Nedved has another shot blocked

The Czechs refuse to give up the fight but Nedved is well marshalled by the Italian defence

Filippo Inzaghi rounds Petr Cech

And Italy's victory is sealed when Filippo Inzaghi rounds goalkeeper Petr Cech to score the second goal

Italy celebrate their second goal

The win means Italy finish top of the group while their shattered opponents crash out of the tournament

The Czech Republic's players look desolate

Having been expected to at least progress beyond the group phase, an early exit is a crushing blow for the Czechs

Italy fans

But Italy's World Cup hopes are very much intact and their delighted fans can look forward to the second round



GROUP E: HOW THEY FINISHED

  PGDPTS
  Italy 3 4 7
  Ghana 3 1 6
----------------------------------------
  Czech R 3 -1 3
  USA 3 -4 1

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