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Italy Book Their Place in Brazil

Italy became the latest team to qualify for Brazil 2014, as two early second-half goals saw them comeback to beat the Czech Republic 2-1.

View: The World Cup Qualifying Groups As Things Stand

Italy started positively, and Mario Balotelli forced a good save from Peter Cech in the 11th minute, as he shot low from the edge of the box.

Balotelli was thwarted again five minutes later, this time through some solid defending from Tomas Sivok.

But it was the Czech Republic who took the lead in the 18th minute. Tomas Rosicky started the move, feeding the ball to Peter Jirácek who attacked down the left before passing to Libor Kozák to finish a great team goal.

Balotelli had two golden opportunities for the equalizer, but his shot in the 23rd minute hit the crossbar, and then he blasted it over a minute later, after Cech spilled the ball into his path.

Balotelli again had another great chance in the 36th minute, but his header went straight at Cech who made a good save, and at half-time the Czechs remained 1-0 up.

Italy started the second-half with intent and immediately began to attack the Czech goal. They finally found the back of the net in the 51st minute, as Giorgio Chiellini headed home from a corner with Cech stranded out his goal.

Three minutes later and it was 2-1 to Italy as Balotelli was brought down by Gebre Selassie in the box. Balotelli stepped up and planted the penalty kick past Cech.

The Czech Republic were reduced to 10 men when substitute Daniel Kolar was given a red card in the 89th minute as Italy held onto their 2-1 lead and booked another World Cup appearance.

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Read: Buffon Nears Italy Milestone

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