For so long in the shadow of their former countrymen, Slovakia finally exorcized some football demons by beating out the Czech Republic in Europe’s Group 1 to qualify for the World Cup. In fact, the group was quite tricky considering it was full of other quality sides such as Slovenia and Poland. Slovakia however went about their business and despite a slip-up here and there against Slovenia mainly, qualification to South Africa finally came against Poland on the final matchday. This will be the country’s first ever international tournament since becoming an independent nation and while the pressure might be on, this is a talented side who have the makings of a classic tournament sleeper. In Group F with Italy, Paraguay, and New Zealand, the team have the ability to challenge for a place in the Round of 16.
TALE OF THE TAPE
FIFA Ranking: 38
World Cup Appearances: 0
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 0-0-0
Best World Cup Finish: N/A
Road To South Africa: Qualified as 1st-placed team in Europe’s Group 3