The AC Milan forward made the difference in his side's first match of the World Cup, heading in at the back post in the second half, after Daniel Sturridge had cancelled out Claudio Marchisio's opener.
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"It's a shame that it was impossible to maintain the intensity we showed at times," the Azzurri coach told Rai Sport. "The team suffered in the heat but we maintained supremacy in midfield.
"We worked well in training for the World Cup and we saw in the second half that England players were the ones who had cramp, not us, and this means that our work has paid off.
"Balotelli gave all he could give. Everyone gave their best."
Italy next clash with Group D leaders Costa Rica on Friday before facing Uruguay - who are currently bottom of the four-team table - on June 24.