MATCH CENTRE

FRI 20 JUNE 2014, 18:00, ARENA PERNAMBUCO

0
VS
1

Costa Rica stun lackluster Italy

by Staff Reporter

Fri June 20, 19:56

Costa Rica booked their place in the Last 16 of the World Cup for the first time in 20 years by shocking Italy to a 1-0 win in Recife on Friday evening.

The loss means the Azzurri’s fate in the World Cup is hanging by a thread and they will have to either draw or beat Uruguay to ensure they progress into the knockout stages in their final Group D match.

The pressure was on for both teams heading into the encounter, as both teams knew that a win would guarantee them a spot into the Last 16.

Italy had taken maximum points off England with their 2-1 triumph, while Costa Rica stunned Uruguay in the first match.

The first chance of the match fell to Los Ticos on 7 minutes when Christian Bolanos got onto the end of a corner kick to nod it just narrowly over the crossbar as Gianluigi Buffon was left grabbing air.

Costa Rica were doing well to take the game to the Azzurri in the opening 20 minutes off the game, with their quick touch passing getting the better of their opposition.

Italy’s first promising moment of the game came when Andrea Pirlo launched a long over the top to Mario Balotelli six minutes later. The Milan striker turned his marked and threaded it to Thiago Motta, who disappointingly drilled it wide of goal while on the edge of the D.

Balotelli found himself in the thick of things minutes later when he burst into the box to chase down another long ball by Pirlo. He tried lobbing it over the goalkeeper but it bounced out wide of the far post.

Buffon was then called into action on 35 minutes, and he kept the scoreline level by parrying out a great effort by Bolanos that looked like it was going in.

Italy escaped out of jail just three minutes before the break when Giorgio Chiellini body checked Joel Campbell inside the box, but no penalty was given.

Justice was eventually served when Byran Ruiz pounced on a cross into the box and nodded it into the roof of the net right on the stroke of half time

Cesare Prandelli opted to bring on Antonio Cassano in place of Thiago Motta at the restart, and they immediately threatened with a right-footed drive by Matteo Darmian that was pushed inches over the bar.

Italy created a wave after wave of attacks but couldn’t find the desired touch needed to draw level, falling to a defeat.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE ARENA PERNAMBUCO
ITALY GOALS COSTA RICA GOALS
10. Bryan Ruiz (44')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1
ITALY STARTING LINEUP COSTA RICA STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
15
Defender
16
3
3
Defender
7
Defender
15
Defender
4
Defender
4
Midfielder
21
Defender
6
Midfielder
56'
6
Midfielder
5
Midfielder
69'
8
Midfielder
7
Midfielder
16
Midfielder
67'
17
Midfielder
46'
5
Forward/Striker
44'
80'
10
Forward/Striker
69'
9
Forward/Striker
74'
9
SUBSTITUTIONS
Antonio Cassano
Forward/Striker
46'
10
Jose Cubero
Midfielder
67'
22
Lorenzo Insigne
Forward/Striker
56'
23
Marco Urena
Forward/Striker
74'
21
Alessio Cerci
Forward/Striker
69'
11
Randall Brenes
Forward/Striker
80'
14
CARDS
Mario Balotelli
Forward/Striker
69'
9
Jose Cubero
Midfielder
71'
22
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
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