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Lippi and Cannavaro Will Retire if Azzurri Don’t Advance – Italy Needs a Win to be Sure of Round-of-16 Place

Posted By: The Annotico Report, Italia Mia Network on June 23, 2010 in Annotico Report, Italy - Comments: No Comments »

Coach Marcello Lippi and Captain Fabio Cannavaro have announced they will leave the national team after the tournament, if the Azzurri  do not advance to Round of 16.  A draw could push the Italians into the second round from Group F, but only if Paraguay beats New Zealand is that assured. A victory keeps Italy alive without question.
 
Italy vs Slovakia,  (10 a.m. at Johannesburg) on Thursday, June 24, 2010.
 
Lippi and Cannavaro will End Italy Careers if Azzurri Don't Advance
By The Associated Press (CP) - June 23, 2010
JOHANNESBURG — Marcello Lippi and Fabio Cannavaro have added motivation for Italy's final group game against Slovakia at the World Cup on Thursday.
Both coach and captain have announced they will leave the national team after the tournament, and if the Azzurri can't win they could be eliminated.
Lippi said Wednesday that "none of us want it to be the last game. On a personal level, we all feel that way."
The defending champion opened with two less than inspiring 1-1 draws against Paraguay and New Zealand in Group F.
Slovakia allowed a stoppage-time equalizer in its opening 1-1 draw with New Zealand, then lost 2-0 to Paraguay, prompting coach Vladimir Weiss to say he's hoping for better luck against
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jKo0LheLWjT-JUAzGNWBFNHaoI9w
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Italy Needs a Win to be Sure of Round-of-16 Place
By The Associated Press (AP) June 23, 2010
JOHANNESBURG — The World Cup is no place for defending champions, with only Italy in 1938 and Brazil in '62 repeating. The Azzurri are facing an early, ignominious departure from South Africa 2010 if they don't beat Slovakia on Thursday.
Sure, a draw could push the Italians into the second round from Group F, but only if Paraguay beats New Zealand is that assured. A victory (10 a.m. at Johannesburg) keeps Italy alive without question.
"We're worried," midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. "I said it before and I'll say it again: If we don't make it past the first round it would be a failure."
Italy's forwards have had trouble scoring in their opening two games, 1-1 draws against Paraguay and 78th-ranked New Zealand.
"If we can't win we don't deserve to advance," De Rossi added. "We're Italy and we ought to be able to win one of these three games — otherwise it would only be fair to go home."
Perhaps helping the Azzurri stay will be midfielder Andrea Pirlo. The playmaker appears recovered from a left calf injury that kept him out of the first two matches. He was a key to Italy's title in 2006.    But Pirlo is an uncertain participant.
"I really want to weigh the options and choose the lineup with care, taking into consideration the players' conditions and involving them in the decision," coach Marcello Lippi said. "As long as we stay positive we have a chance."
So do the Slovaks, who must win and have Paraguay either beat or draw with New Zealand (10 a.m. at Polokwane). Slovakia gave up a second-half injury-time goal to New Zealand in a 1-1 result, and then lost 2-0 to Paraguay.
"We missed our big chance with New Zealand and now it's going to be very tough to qualify against Italy," said Slovakia midfielder Marek Hamsik. "We've got to do more. Against Paraguay we weren't able to put a shot on goal."
The Paraguayans have typified how South America has performed thus far. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have advanced, and all La Albirroja need is a draw against the Kiwis to join the second-round party.
"These results have strengthened us mentally and spiritually, not just as football players but in our attitude as well," coach Gerardo Martino said.   Paraguay has been to the final 16 in three previous World Cups.
This is, by far, the most successful run for New Zealand, which lost all three matches in its other appearance, 1982. A Kiwis win guarantees advancement and a draw could do the job, depending on how many goals New Zealand scores — and Italy drawing with Slovakia.
Group E already has a team in the next round, the Dutch. Although neither of their victories were impressive, they can rest regulars if they want in the game against Cameroon (2:30 p.m. at Cape Town). The Indomitable Lions were the first team eliminated......

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