Italy beat Czech 2-0 to top Group E | india | Hindustan Times
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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 | Games

india 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.