The World Champions are Unbelievably Out After an Absolutely Unbelievable Game

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Arrivederci Italia. It feels way too soon to bid farewell and continue without you, but it is a sad truth and the World Cup will go on. The game can pretty much be summarized in the thrilling second half, when the Italian's pulled themselves together and their play looked immensely better than the first.

The first half that had nothing worth remembering except for Slovakia’s goal and it was an endeavor that paid off. Boom. Unfortunately, Quagriella’s equalizer was ruled off for offside and the Italian’s could only continue to push forward, as the game between Paraguay and New Zealand was still 0-0, which meant that Italia could advance with a draw.

But as it can happen when pushing for a goal, you open up behind. Slovakia counterattacked and then suddenly was up 2-0. The Italians did the only thing they could do, and when Di Natale finally capitalized on one of his many opportunities and reduced to 2-1, "it's a game again" we all thought…and then Slovakia played a clever move with a throw-in and managed to score another beautiful goal. It was 3-1 to Slovakia.

Curtain down… or wait. Quagriella wasn’t through just yet as, cold as ice, chipped in one of the tournament’s most beautiful goals. 2-3 and we started to believe in miracles. But it just wasn’t enough. Even with a dying chance in additional time, the Slovakians held the Italians off. A grand effort from Slovakia who had been pretty much unanimously ruled out of the tournament after the conceded equalizer against New Zealand and defeat against Paraguay, has now miraculously advanced from Group F.

The Italians... what can we say? They had a goal, in their defense, doubtfully disallowed for an inch or so offside, and a golden opportunity in the 95th minute that went outside, but it wasn’t enough. In this World Cup the it just wasn’t enough. Sadly. Gil Azzurri came back, but too late. They hadn’t conceded three goals in a World Cup game since 1970 and they haven’t been eliminated in the group stages for 8 tournaments, in 1974. Today all of that happened at once. The reigning champions of the world, grande Gil Azzurri are shockingly out of the World Cup. Surely they will rise again.