Slovaks savour success
Slovakia boss Vladimir Weiss and his players revelled in the moment after their stunning win over Italy.
By Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 24/06/10 8:16pm
Slovakia manager Vladimir Weiss and his players revelled in the moment following their stunning victory over Italy.
Having picked up just one point from their opening two games, Slovakia's chances of qualifying for the last 16 had been written off by many ahead of the clash with Italy.
However, they claimed a famous 3-2 win to knock out the reigning champions and seal their own place in the next round.
Weiss said: "First of all I may say it's so unbelievable, it was a fantastic day for us.
"We had good preparation for the match with the staff and the players, after the birth of my son it's the second best day of my life.
"I want to say thanks to the people of Slovakia, who followed us to South Africa, I am very proud of my team, they played a very high level for 80 minutes.
"There was big pressure in the last 10 minutes but we played a fantastic game and the better team won.
"Today we are happy people and this is a celebration. I believe today everyone is celebrating in the streets. I want to tell my wife that I love her."
Marek Hamsik was equally buoyant, saying that Slovakia had upset the form book to make it past the group phase.
"We were 2-0 up and then sat back a bit, which could've ended badly for us, but thankfully we scored the third goal and that finished off the game," the Napoli midfielder told Sky Italia.
"We deserved the victory and are very glad to be through. Just qualifying for the World Cup was a real achievement and nobody expected us to reach the final 16, especially after drawing Italy in our group, so this is extraordinary.
"We went into the game knowing we had nothing to lose and everything to gain."
Vittek and Jendrisek
Robert Vittek, who scored the first two goals, added: "It's a huge success. We've moved the limits of Slovak football. We couldn't have dreamt about this.
"Of course, we didn't expect such domination. We were better during the match. We played with our hearts and that's what decided the match today."
Slovakia forward Erik Jendrisek believes the key was to be more aggressive and not sit back.
"We've shown that we're not here for a holiday," said Jendrisek.
"As soon as we were too passive, the Italians were more dangerous and scored, so we decided that we had to be more aggressive again."