Italy beat Czech 2-0 to top Group E
Substitutes Marco Materazzi and Filippo Inzaghi helped the Azzurris gain victory over their second-ranked opponents.Schedule | Teams | Results | Photos | Gamesindia Updated: Jun 23, 2006 02:10 IST
Italy beat 10-man Czech Republic 2-0 on Thursday to win Group E at the World Cup and avoid a likely match-up with Brazil in the second round.
Substitute defender Marco Materazzi headed in Francesco Totti's 26th-minute corner for his first goal in 29 international appearances. Fellow substitute Filippo Inzaghi beat the offside trap in the 87th minute to run unopposed from halfway and score with a low shot.
The Czechs were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Jan Polak picked up his second yellow card in first-half injury time. Italy won the group with seven points.
The second-ranked Czech Republic was eliminated; finishing with only the three points earned in an opening 3-0 win over the United States.
Italy will now face the second-placed team from Group F, which is led by defending champion Brazil.