Pre-game: Group F finale

World champion Italy can clinch a spot in the second round of the FIFA World Cup with a win over Slovakia on Thursday (CBC,, 9:30 am ET) in Johannesburg.

Day 14, Match 1 and 2

Slovakia vs. Italy, June 24 in Johannesburg

Paraguay vs. New Zealand, June 24, in Polokwane 

Broadcast details

  • Slovakia-Italy, live on CBC and at 9:30 a.m. ET
  • Paraguay-New Zealand, live on digital channel CBC Bold and at 9:30 a.m. ET
  • Paraguay-New Zealand will be replayed on CBC at Noon ET

Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule by clicking here.  

Current Group F standings

  1. Paraguay: 4 points, 3 goals, +2 goal difference
  2. Italy: 2 points, 2 goals, 0 goal difference
  3. New Zealand: 2 points, 2 goals, 0 goal difference
  4. Slovakia: 1 point, 1 goal, -2 goal difference

FIFA uses the following series of tiebreakers when teams finish tied with the same number of points at the end of the group stage:

  • Goal difference.
  • Total goals scored.
  • Head-to-head results (if more than two teams are tied, then results between those teams are calculated using the first two criteria).
  • Drawing of lots.

Remember, the top two teams in the group move on to the round of 16.

Paraguay advances:

  • with a win or a tie, OR
  • with a loss and if Italy ties Slovakia, OR
  • with a loss and if Slovakia wins, so long as Slovakia doesn't force a tiebreaker with Paraguay.

Italy advances:

  • with a win, OR
  • with a tie and a New Zealand loss, OR
  • with a tie and if Paraguay-New Zealand tie, so long as Italy outscores New Zealand.

New Zealand advances:

  • with a win, OR
  • with a tie and if Italy-Slovakia tie, so long as New Zealand outscores Italy.

Slovakia advances:

  • with a win and a Paraguay win or tie, OR
  • with a win versus Italy and a Paraguay loss, and if Slovakia forces a tiebreaker with Paraguay.

Slovakia vs. Italy

Player to watch for Slovakia — Martin Skrtel: The anchor of Slovakia’s defence uses his extremely sound tackling and cool head under pressure to keep attackers at bay.

Player to watch for Italy — Giorgio Chiellini: The Azzurri’s no-nonsense bruising defender has made up the difference as captain Fabio Cannavaro continues to struggle on the backline.

The Slovakian perspective: "Italy are a well-known team. They have won the World Cup four times, including last time. That says it all about Italy."  — Striker Martin Jakubko

The Italian perspective: "We can still do important things in this World Cup. It's within our possibilities. We can do so much better that what we have done so far. But we have to take responsibility after two games that didn't go as we had planned." — Coach Marcelo Lippi

World Cup head-to-head: Italy defeated the former Czechoslovakia two times at the World Cup: in the 1934 final in Rome, and again in the Eternal City during the group stage of the 1990 tournament.

Paraguay vs. New Zealand

Player to watch for Paraguay — Enrique Vera: A rock in midfield for Paraguay, Vera combines solid defence with moments of explosive attack, and potted the winning goal against Slovakia.

Player to watch for New Zealand — Mark Paston: The goalkeeping hero against Italy needs another solid outing if the All Whites are to earn a shocking knockout round berth.

The Paraguayan perspective: "They [New Zealand] are a difficult opponent like all the teams, nobody gifts you anything in these types of competitions and more than anything they've done a great job. No-one should undervalue what New Zealand have done."  — Midfielder Carlos Bonet

The New Zealand perspective: "You can always dare to dream. It is a World Cup and anything is possible." — Coach Ricki Herbert

World Cup head-to-head: This match will mark the first World Cup encounter between the two countries.