JOHANNESBURG -- Defending champion Italy was eliminated Thursday from the World Cup with a humbling 3-2 loss to Slovakia, which advanced.
Slovakia finished second in Group F to Paraguay. The Italians were last, the first time they've ever finished at the bottom of an opening-round group.
For the third consecutive game, the Azzurri allowed an early goal and this time they never recovered.
Robert Vittek put Slovakia ahead in the 25th minute, taking advantage of an errant pass from midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Vittek doubled the lead from close range in the 73rd following a corner kick.
Antonio Di Natale scored for Italy in the 81st, but Kamil Kopunek ended Italy's chances eight minutes later, even though Fabio Quagliarella scored in injury time for the four-time champions.
It marked the end of an era for Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and Gennaro Gattuso, who already announced their retirement from the national team after the tournament. Coach Marcello Lippi is also moving on, with Cesare Prandelli already chosen as his successor.
Never have the previous World Cup finalists both failed to advance in the next tournament when both qualified. France, which lost to Italy on penalty kicks for the 2006 title, went out earlier this week in Group A.
Slovakia plays Monday in Durban against the Netherlands. It is the first World Cup for Slovakia as an independent nation.
PARAGUAY 0, NEW ZEALAND 0: Paraguay was held to an uneventful draw by New Zealand, but still won its World Cup group and moved into the round of 16.
The Paraguayans, who also reached the second round at the World Cup in 1986, 1998 and 2002, continued South America's dominance of the tournament. The continent's teams have 10 wins, no losses and three draws at the World Cup.
Paraguay finished with five points in Group F and plays Japan on Tuesday in Pretoria.
New Zealand finished third in the group with three points off as many draws, a strong showing for a nation ranked 78th in the world.
NETHERLANDS 2, CAMEROON 1: The Netherlands produced its first goals of flair and finesse to beat Cameroon and set up a second-round match with Slovakia.
Robin Van Persie finished off an end-to-end move in the 36th minute, and substitute Arjen Robben sent a shot against the post in the 83rd that Klaas Jan Huntelaar only had to slide in for the winner.
In between, Samuel Eto'o scored on penalty kick for Cameroon.
The Dutch won Group E with three victories.
Cameroon lost all three of its matches.
In the 73rd minute, the tens of thousands of orange-clad fans in the Green Point Stadium cheered when Robben made his debut at the World Cup almost three weeks after sustaining a left hamstring injury in a warmup game. He immediately showed his value by helping set up the winning goal.
JAPAN 3, DENMARK 1: Spectacular first-half goals by Keisuke Honda and Yusuhito Endo helped lift Japan, sending the Japanese into the round of 16 at the World Cup.
The Danes, who replied in the 81st when Jon Dahl Tomasson tapped in the rebound from his own penalty kick, failed to advance from the group stage for the first time in four World Cup appearances.
Shinji Okazaki scored an insurance goal in the 87th minute for the Japanese.
Japan's first two goals came on free kicks less than 15 minutes apart, as it collected its second win in Group E. The Japanese finished with six points compared to three for third-place Denmark.
The Japanese have now reached the knockout round for the second time. They also advanced in 2002 when they were tournament co-hosts.