score football magazine

World Cup 2010
South Africa

Thursday June 24th

Group F

Vittek double kills off Italy

Slovakia 3 Italy 2 (Johannesburg)
In an exciting match Robert Vittek scored twice for Slovakia to knock reigning champions Italy out of the World Cup. Kucka intercepted a pass from de Rossi in the 25th minute and found Vittek who ran between 2 defenders and slid the ball past Marchetti who in the 35th minute pushed away a long-range shot from Strba. A thunderous Kucka volley from 35 yards was just wide moments before the break. A curler from di Natale in the 62nd minute didn't trouble Mucha and 5 minutes later the Slovakian keeper punched a cross down towards Iaquinta whose volley came off Skrtel on the goal-line. A corner in the 73rd minute came back to Hamsik who returned it back into the box for Vittek to prod home at the near post. With 9 minutes left a one-two between Iaquinta and Quagliarella resulted in a shot which Mucha did well to save but di Natale rolled in the rebound to reduce the deficit. The goal gave Italy hope but in the 89th minute substitute Kopunek ran onto a throw-in to lift the ball over the keeper with his first touch of the game. Italy seemed dead and buried but midway through stoppage time Quagliarella scored with an exquisite chip from 20 yards to make the closing moments an exciting and nervous affair for all concerned. With this result Slovakia go through while the world champions lose their crown and finish bottom of their group.

Kamil Kopunek lifts the ball in over Marchetti
Group F

Drab draw leaves Paraguay on top

Paraguay 0 New Zealand 0 (Polokwane)

A goalless draw with New Zealand in an uneventful match was enough for Paraguay to finish top of their group. Paston reacted quickly to keep out a header from Riveros in the 62nd minute and dived to his left in the 76th minute to get his fingers to a shot from Benitez and denied Barrios from the follow up. Santa Cruz saw his free-kick fisted away by the Kiwi keeper 11 minutes from time and the match ended goalless.

Chris Wood fails to trouble Paraguay
Group E

Japanese sharp-shooters send Denmark packing

Japan 3 Denmark 1 (Rustenburg)

Two brilliantly taken Japanese free-kicks spelled the beginning of the end for Denmark. In the 13th minute a free-kick from the left was floated into the Danish box but Sorensen got in the way of Matsui's flick and moments later Hasebe attacked from the right but his angled shot flew over the bar. Within a minute at the other end Tomasson ran into the box but his side-footed shot was just wide of the far post. Honda's dipping free-kick beat Sorensen from 35 yards in the 17th minute, and 5 minutes later Christian Poulsen floated the ball into the box but Tomasson failed to connect. Japan got another free-kick on 30 minutes and with all eyes on Honda, Endo bent it over the wall and into the right corner. Komano rifled one in from the left just before the break but the keeper helped it over the bar, and a few minutes into the second half Sorensen was caught out by an Endo free-kick but managed to push it onto the post. A powerful shot from Jakob Poulsen in the 59th minute was parried by the Japanese keeper and in the 68th minute Eriksen struck well but just over the bar. With 20 minutes left Rommedahl got into the area and pulled back to Tomasson who missed his chance, but a minute after Larsen's 79th minute volley had come off the crossbar, Tomasson got another chance when Denmark were awarded a penalty which was saved but he force the rebound in past Kawashima. In the 87th minute Honda skilfully got past Rommedahl with a drag-back before pulling the ball back for Okazaki to knock in and restore Japan's 2 goal lead and send the Asian side through.

Sorensen watches on as ball hits the woodwork
Group E

Dutch extend winning run

Netherlands 2 Cameroon 1 (Cape Town)

The Netherlands beat Cameroon to top their group with nine points out of nine. Robin van Persie was clear on goal in the 19th minute but shot straight at the keeper and in the 32nd minute Kuyt's shot across goal was just wide of the post, but the Dutch scored in the 36th minute when after a one-two with van der Vaart, van Persie slotted the ball past Souleymanou. In the 62nd minute Aboubakar dribbled past several Dutch players before playing the ball to Makoun who brought a good save out of Stekelenburg, but a minute later the Dutch keeper was beaten when Cameroon were awarded a penalty for hand-ball and Eto'o converted with power and accuracy. Nigel de Jong got on the end of a free-kick which was crossed into the box in the 67th minute, but was off target. The Dutch got the winning goal 7 minutes from time when Sneijder played a delightful ball with the outside of his foot to Robben who made space before striking the inside of the post from 25 yards, allowing Huntelaar to snap up the rebound.

Samuel Eto'o scored from the spot

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