Italy had the majority of chances against Slovenia, but it took until the 84th minute for substitute Giampaolo Pazzini to find the back of the net. The azzurri then managed to hold on through four minutes added time to earn a 1-0 win, first place in Group C and a trip to Poland and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Slovenia's only hope lies in the last round, where they'll need a dramatic win against Serbia, as well as for Italy not to go easy on them in the match beforehand. If Serbia win against Italy, or Estonia beat Northern Ireland, Slovenia are disqualified.
While Italy played well enough throughout the match, they often had trouble connecting up with the front three of Riccardo Montolivo, Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi. It was when Cesare Prandelli introduced Giampaolo Pazzini, and then, more significantly, Mario Balotelli, that the azzurri really got dangerous. Balotelli used his strength to knock down a beautiful cross while holding back the Slovenian defender, allowing Pazzini to pounce and send the ball through to the near post. 1-0 and it was good enough.