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Patchy Italy look to recreate spirit of 2006 (Reuters)

Italy's national soccer team pose before the start of their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Czech Republic at the Juventus stadium in Turin, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

By Terry Daley ROME (Reuters) – Four-times World Cup champions Italy have booked a place at the 2014 finals in Brazil with two games to spare but even their smooth qualification could not gloss over the patchy displays throughout the team’s campaign. The Azzurri traditionally struggle in qualification but Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic allowed them to clinch their place in Brazil with ease as they moved seven points ahead of second-placed Bulgaria in Group B. …


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