Azzurrini reign supreme
© Foto-net

Goals from Tommaso Rocchi, Giuseppe Rossi and Riccardo Montolivo earned Italy a 3-0 win over Korea Republic and a place in the quarter-finals.

Straight from the first whistle, the match was played at a frenetic pace. Sebastian Giovinco stung the hands of Jung Sung-Ryong with an inswinging free-kick, while Park Chu-Young's effort from 20-yards almost caught Emilian Viviano unawares.

However, it took just 15 minutes for Italy to open the scoring. The Azzurrini's only over-age player, Rocchi saw his shot blocked, but the rebound fell in the path of Rossi who outmuscled the Korean defence to fire home an unstoppable shot.

Salvatore Bocchetti had a chance to double the Italians' advantage, firing over when well-placed, but they did not have to wait too long. Giovinco played the ball to full-back Marco Motta who cut the ball back to the onrushing Rocchi who made no mistake.

With time ticking down in the first-half, Korea Republic almost pulled one back when Shin Young-Rok's cross was headed against the crossbar by Park. However, Pierluigi Casiraghi's side almost scored a third when Rossi flashed a shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

The half-time interval saw Park Sung-Wha make a double substitution to try and bring his side back into the game, but it was still the Italians who created the better chances.

Giovinco again had Jung scrambling to his right to claw away a free-kick, while Italy's two R's, Rocchi and Rossi, combined well to set up a chance which the latter fired over the crossbar. The Taeguk Warriors enjoyed their best spell midway through the second half, but aside from some territorial advantage, they had little to show for their efforts.

With his side enjoying a two goal advantage, Casiraghi had the luxury of replacing Giovinco and the goalscorers in the second half to keep their powder dry for the final group game with Cameroon in three days' time.

Then in the final stages, Italy added insult to injury when Robert Acquafresca broke quickly down the right hand side and squared the ball to Montolivo. The Fiorentina midfielder hit the post with his initial effort, but the ball rebounded kindly for him, and he made no mistake with the second opportunity.