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The amazing come from behind win for Korea has created a lot of talking points. All of which the Italian media and aficionados will construe to suit their purpose of finding excuses for their defeat at the hands of host Korea.

All things said and done, the Italian could have avoided all this hassle and pulled up their socks long ago if they would have only tried to play some football. In their group games they merely cruised along hoping to make the cut, not giving enough thought about trying to finish top of the group and avoiding the group winners from Group D, i.e. the Koreans.

Though at the point they were playing their game, the Italians would not have guessed that it would be Korea they would be playing in the 2nd round, it is my guess that they did not care who they played as they must have thought that they were better than them all.

When they equalised against Mexico with a couple of minutes still to play, the Azzurri should have tried to get a winner, which would have accorded them top place in the group. Instead, they stood and watched while the Mexicans passed the ball around allowing time to run out, as they knew they could not be ousted from qualification.

Acts like that does not make World champions and not even quarterfinalists as the case has shown to be. Korea for their part could have lost to Portugal by a single goal and still qualified for the 2nd phase as runner-up and played Mexico and avoided Italy, but they did not do that. They dug in and grinded out a win over a undisciplined Portuguese side, whose lack of players was due to their own doing coupled with their inability to cope with the pace and organisation of the Koreans.

Contrast the sportsmanship of the now the mighty Koreas to the meagre behaviour of the Italians in their final game against Mexico. Korea deserved to win this match and did it in magnificent fashion, even affording to miss a penalty in the game.

Hence it is not the humidity, fixture congestion, poor officiating, stroke of luck or the likes that have seen the demise of yet another superpower in the World Cup, but the victory of football against arrogance, unsporting behaviour and overconfidence. The Italians got what they deserved!
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