Marcello Lippi has made his final substitution in the 56th minute, bringing on Andrea Pirlo in what could be seen as a final act of desperation.
Pirlo missed the first two matches of Italy’s World Cup with a calf injury, his absence pointed to as a reason for the Azzurri’s lack of attacking prowess. Not starting the final group match, it was though Pirlo’s injury had not improved enough to play, but now down 1-0 with potentially just over a half hour left in their World Cup, Italy has brought Pirlo on.
Italy had used their previous two substitutions coming out of half time, bringing on Fabio Quagliarella and Christian Maggio.
If results hold, Italy will finish last in Group F, with Slovakia going through in second place, behind Paraguay.