Can Guus Hiddink do it again?
Four years ago, World Cup 2002 co-host South Korea, coached by Hiddink, beat Italy, 2-1, in overtime in the round of 16.
This time, Hiddink leads Australia against Italy Monday in the round of 16 in Kaiserslautern.
"It's difficult to compare these two games," he said, "but from a starting point, I think it might be the same in that they [the Italians] are 100 percent favorites."
Like South Korea, Australia never won a game in the World Cup until Hiddink took charge. Australia went 1-1-1 in Group F to claim second place behind Brazil.
"The strong point about the Australian team is that even when we are down -- and, unfortunately, we've been down in all our games at this tournament -- the team always reacts and never gives the impression that it's lost," added Hiddink. "That's the main quality of this team."
IN AND OUT.
Marco Materazzi, who scored against the Czech Republic on Thursday, should replace the injured Alessandro Nesta's in the middle of the Italy defense. Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who started Australia's first two games, will return to the starting lineup in place to Zeljko Kalac, who gave up a bad goal against Croatia. Marco Bresciano is one of the options to replace Brett Emerton, who was sent off against Croatia. Another concern for the Socceroos: Harry Kewell, who has been unable to train with a groin injury since the Croatia game.
Italy and Australia have never met in a full international. Italy beat host Australia, 1-0, on an Andrea Pirlo goal in the opening game of the 2000 Olympics.
Italy (4-4-1-1): 1-Gianluigi Buffon (63 caps-0 goals); 19-Gianluca Zambrotta (54-1), 23-Marco Materazzi (29-1), 5-Fabio Cannavaro (96-1), 3-Fabio Grosso (19-1); 20-Simone Perrotta (27-1), 21-Andrea Pirlo (27-5), 8-Gennaro Gattuso (43-1), 16-Mauro Camoranesi (23-1); 10-Francesco Totti (54-8); 11-Alberto Gilardino (18-8).
Australia (4-5-1): 1-Mark Schwarzer (39 caps-0 goals); 23-Marco Bresciano (27-7), 2-Lucas Neil (28-0), 3-Craig Moore (36-3), 14-Scott Chipperfield (49-11); 13-Vince Grella (20-0), 5-Jason Culina (16-1), 4-Tim Cahill (19-11), 21-Mile Sterjovski (24-4), 10-Harry Kewell (23-7); 11-Mark Viduka (36-6).
Referee: Luis Medina Cantalejo (Spain).
ESPN, live, 11 am ET.
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Ukraine carries Eastern European banner
Playing in its first World Cup, Ukraine carries the banner for Eastern Europe after the elimination of its four other representatives in the first round.
Poland, the Czech Republic, Serbia & Montenegro and Croatia won only two games between them in 12 games.
Ukraine, which faces Switzerland Monday in Cologne, recovered from a 4-0 loss to Spain in its opening game to beat Saudi Arabia, 4-0, and Tunisia, 1-0, and claim second place in Group H.
"It's a hugely important achievement for Ukrainian soccer that we have got into the next round," said star Andriy Shevchenko. "We always kept our belief despite the terrible defeat against Spain."
IN AND OUT.
Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos is out of the World Cup after dislocating a shoulder in Switzerland's Group G win over South Korea on Friday. Teenager Johan Djourou, who also plays for Arsenal, will take Senderos' place. Ukraine has four defenders either suspended or injured: Andriy Rusol and Vyacheslav Svidersky are suspended, while Dmitro Chigrinsky is out with a thigh injury, and right back Volodymir Yezersky missed the last two games with a thigh injury. Yezersky could return against Switzerland.
Switzerland and Ukraine are meeting for the first time.
Switzerland (4-5-1): 1-Pascal Zuberbuehler (43 caps-0 goals); 3-Ludovic Magnin (32-2), 2-Johann Djourou (4-0), 20-Patrick Mueller (67-3), 23-Philipp Degen (18-0); 8-Raphael Wicky (70-1), 6-Johann Vogel (88-2), 7-Ricardo Cabanas (40-4), 22-Hakan Yakin (48-14), 16-Tranquillo Barnetta (16-3); 9-Alex Frei (48-27).
Ukraine (3-5-2): 1-Oleksander Shovkovsky (71 goals-0 caps); 5-Volodymir Yezersky (25-1), 17-Vladislav Vashchyuk (59-1), 2-Andriy Nesmachny (52-0); 9-Oleg Gusev (28-1), 4-Anatoly Tymoshchyuk (58-1), 8-Oleg Shelayev (22-0), 19-Maxim Kalinichenko (23-4), 11-Serhiy Rebrov (73-15); 7-Andriy Shevchenko (67-31), 10-Andriy Voronin (35-4).
Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico).
ESPN, live, 3 pm ET.
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La Volpe wants to stay on
Despite Mexico's exit from the World Cup -- its fourth straight loss in the round of 16 -- Ricardo La Volpe wants to stay on as coach.
La Volpe has come in for heavy criticism from the Mexican press, but the Tri's strong game against Argentina in its 2-1 overtime loss Saturday earned it widespread praise.
"Everyone in the world knows now that Mexico can play good soccer," said La Volpe. "That's a fact. Today we played Argentina on equal terms, and that's something that must be acknowledged."
Mexico President Vicente Fox praised the effort of La Volpe's team: "Mexico dominated all the time. The defeat was circumstantial. Mexico was always ahead and deserved victory."