With nothing to gain, Italy and Mexico played a spirited Women's World Cup match today, with the Italians taking a 2-0 victory.
In oppressive heat before a crowd eagerly awaiting the game between the United States and North Korea, the Italians and Mexicans ignored the fact that neither could advance to the quarterfinals. With Mexico playing long ball and Italy using a more precise buildup, both teams threatened as much as could be expected in muggy 92-degree weather.
Italy (1-1-1) got goals from Patrizia Panico in the 37th minute and Paola Zanni in the 51st, both on shots goalkeeper Lenny Quinones misplayed.
Panico scored with a brilliant move on which she put the ball between defenders. But her shot was low, right at Quinones' hands, and it sneaked through into the net. The second goal was a 20-yard lob by Zanni's left foot that sailed over the outstretched hands of Quinones.
Italy threatened a few more times, and Mexico also created some decent opportunities, but could not finish.
Mexico (0-3) performed far better than in losses to Brazil (7-1) and Germany (6-0), the teams that finished atop Group B. Several times, Maribel Dominguez threatened off long passes, including a chip over goalie Giorgia Brenzan that sailed over the net in the 35th minute.