Bookmaker Surprise as Defending World Cup Champs are out

There was a major surprise vs. the bookmaker odds on Thursday as defending World Cup champion Italy was eliminated after at 3-2 loss to Slovakia.

Italy was the favorite at the online bookmaker to win Group F but they ended up finishing last in the group.

Bookmaker odds favored Italy in the match against Slovakia but the Italians gave up an early goal and were in trouble from the start. Robert Vittek scored for Slovakia in the 25th minute after Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi gave the ball away.  Vittek scored again in the 73rd minute and then Italy decided to play.  Antonio Di Natale scored in the 81st minute but just eight minutes later it was Kamil Kopunek scoring for Slovakia to give them a 3-1 lead.  Fabio Quagliarella gave Italy some hope as he scored in injury time but the Italians could not get the equalizer.

The loss by Italy was a major surprise at the bookmaker and now the two teams that played in the World Cup Final four years ago are gone as France also failed to make it out of the group stage.  Italy will look much different in the future as Fabio Cannavaro and Gennaro Gattuso are retiring and head coach Marcello Lippi is moving on.  Italy had an old team and they really never came together during this year’s World Cup. It is the first time in World Cup history that both of the previous World Cup finalists were eliminated in the group stage. 

Slovakia was not expected to advance from Group F but now they will move to the round of 16 and play the winner of Group E on Monday and they will be underdogs at the bookmaker again. This is the first World Cup for Slovakia as an independent nation.  They finished with a win, a loss and a draw for four points to finish second.  New Zealand finished with three draws for three points while Italy had a loss and two draws for just two points.

The loss on Thursday vs. the odds at the online bookmaker was the first time since 1970 that Italy allowed more than two goals in a World Cup match. It is the first time since 1974 that Italy did not advance from the group stage.