Slovakia Camp Focus – Slovakia qualify with a memorable victory

The Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg is now the site of the greatest ever moment in Slovakian footballs relatively short history. The debuting nation did the unthinkable, achieving victory against defending World Champions and footballing superpower Italy. Their memorable 3-2 victory ensured they would take the Italian’s last 16 spot, an almost unthinkable feat just three weeks ago.

The result was met with jubilation from Coach Vladimir Weiss: “First of all I may say it’s so unbelievable, it was a fantastic day for us. We had good preparation for the match with the staff and the players, after the birth of my son it’s the second best day of my life. I want to say thanks to the people of Slovakia, who followed us to South Africa, I am very proud of my team, they played a very high level for 80 minutes. There was big pressure in the last 10 minutes but we played a fantastic game and the better team won. Today we are happy people and this is a celebration. I believe today everyone is celebrating in the streets. I want to tell my wife that I love her.”

Weiss had called for “boldness” from his team ahead of the encounter, and boldness is definitely what the 45-year-old coach got. They looked refreshed and rejuvenated and from the side that succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Paraguay and dropped points, thanks to a late Winston Reid header, against the Kiwis. Weiss’ men took the game to the Azzurri from the outset and sure enough took the lead on the 25 minute mark. Italy’s Daniele De Rossi surrendered possession cheaply on the edge of his own area to Juraj Kucka. From there the Sparta Prague man swivelled and fed an inch perfect through ball to striker Robert Vittek, whose low strike from 18 yards found the bottom corner sending the Slovakian fans into raptures.

The defending champions offered very little in the way of creativity and sure enough dropped further behind to another Vittek strike. The 28 year old Ankarag


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