Uruguay beat Italy to reach last 16
Posted: 24 June 2014 Time: 20:07
Italy have joined fellow big-name European sides like Spain and England on the plane home following a 1-0 Group D defeat to Uruguay in a match marred by controversy.
Diego Godin scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time, but it was a straight red shown to Claudio Marchisio, followed by what looked like another bite from Luis Suarez, which will grab the headlines.
The two sides went into this game knowing that the winner will progress to the Last 16, though a draw would have also seen Italy through on goal-difference.
The first half was a scrappy affair – one with little goalmouth action and plenty of reckless challenges.
The only real chance of the half fell to Suarez just past the half-hour mark when a neat one-two played him in. However, Gianluigi Buffon saved his shot from a tight angle, and then Nicolas Lodeiro’s follow-up as well.
Italy made a change at the break by replacing Mario Balotelli, who was having one of those days where he either gets sent off or scores an amazing winner. Cesare Prandelli was clearly thinking the former and decided to remove the AC Milan man, who had already been booked.
Uruguay had the best chance so far on 58 minutes when Christian Rodriguez combined with Suarez, but the winger’s shot went across the face of goal when he really should have done better.
A minute later and Marchisio was shown a deserved red for an over-the-ball challenge on Egidio Arevalo, and after that it was all the South Americans.
Buffon was again called upon to make an unbelievable one-handed save to deny Suarez, before the goal on 81 minutes as Godin rose highest from a corner to bury and excellent header.
Italy were now throwing everything forward and should have conceded another goal a minute from time when Uruguay broke three-on-one, but Suarez’s square ball was cut out when a sure goal was on.
Try as they may, the Azzurri could not get the goal to get them through to the next round, meaning for the second World Cup in a row, the Italians can’t get beyond the group stages.
However, all headlines will surely point to Suarez once again ...