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World Cup

  • 20 June 2014
  • • 21:30
  • • Itaipava Arena Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco
  • Referee: E. Osses
  • • Attendance: 40285
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Live Commentary

  • Up next for Costa Rica is a clash with England, who are of course now out, while Italy and Uruguay will face each other for the other qualification spot. Thank you for joining me today, I hope you've enjoyed the action. Farewell.
  • The referee blows his whistle to end the match, subsequently eliminating England from the World Cup as Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0 to become the first team to reach the knockout phase from Group D. Bryan Ruiz's headed goal proved to be the difference and they were good value for their lead, but Italy were pretty dreadful. Mario Balotelli saw a couple of chances go begging, but in the second period the Italians barely tested Navas at all. 
  • 90' + 4'
    FULL-TIME!
  • 90' + 3'
    Italy's final attacks are upon us, but they look so drained and exhausted. The Costa Rican bench are ready to burst into celebration, but it's not over yet!
  • 90' + 2'
    There are to be four minutes of added time.
  • 90'
    Cerci's corner delivery isn't bad, but Cassano can only get a slight touch on the ball, diverting it wide of the target.
  • 89'
    Late corner now for Italy on the right as Diaz does well to halt Cerci's advance, blocking his cross.
  • 87'
    Time is running out for Italy - and England. Most of the Italian players are strolling about currently, but Costa Rica are still battling away and showing fantastic desire.
  • 85'
    Italy are not playing with any urgency here. Perhaps they are just playing without feeling the need to panic, but they don't look like troubling Pinto's men.
  • 83'
    Costa Rica almost sniff out a second as Urena latches on to a pass forward from the midfield. The Kuban forward runs at Chiellini and gets beyond him before shooting, but the Italian blocks his effort.
  • 81'
    Substitution Bryan Ruiz R. Brenes
  • 81'
    Off goes Ruiz, who, at the moment, looks set to be the match-winner. Moya comes on in his place.
  • 80'
    Italy have 10 minutes to get themselves level and to save England's World Cup chances. Roy Hodgson's men will be urging them on, but as it stands, Balotelli won't be getting that kiss from the Queen which he asked for as a reward for helping England.
  • 78'
    Good play by Cerci as he skips past Diaz, but he was unable to get a cross in from the right. A few moments later, Abate tries his luck on the same flank, but the Costa Rica defender does much better and wins a goal kick.
  • 76'
    Despite the departure of Campbell, Costa Rica still look a threat on the counter with Urena. Italy, meanwhile, are still struggling to break through their opponents, who do appear to have most of their players back in the defensive third.
  • 74'
    Substitution J. Campbell M. Ureña
  • 74'
    Off goes Campbell, who, although not quite as good as he was against Uruguay, had a good game. Urena, who netted in the previous game, replaces him.
  • 73'
    Italy look so flat at the moment. Their creativity looks stifled and they appear incapable of breaking through the Costa Rican defence. They have plenty of crafty players on the pitch now, though.
  • 71'
    Yellow Card José Miguel Cubero Loria
  • 71'
    More wasteful play from Italy now, as Cassano tries to flick on a pass from the back, but his attempt is rather aimless and simply hooks the ball all the way through to Navas.
  • 70'
    And here is Italy's final change as Cerci replaces Marchisio, who was disappointing.
  • 69'
    Substitution Claudio Marchisio Alessio Cerci
  • 69'
    Yellow Card Mario Balotelli
  • 69'
    Balotelli is the first player to pick up a yellow card. The Milan forward appears to have been given it for arguing with the referee.
  • 68'
    Substitution Yeltsin Tejeda José Miguel Cubero Loria
  • 68'
    Costa Rica make a change now, as the busy Tejeda is replaced by Cubero in the midfield.
  • 66'
    Inisgne is the latest Italian to be called offside for failing to keep an eye on the Costa Rican defensive line. Prandelli is losing his patience.
  • 64'
    Here come the "ole" chants again from the Costa Rica supporters. They are loving this, and understandably so. As it stands they will take charge of Group D, going top with six points and subsequently qualifying.
  • 62'
    Costa Rica's defence do appear to be significantly deeper than in the first half. Italy are struggling with that change, though. Balotelli is looking increasingly frustrated as Duarte & Co. continue to keep him under wraps.
  • 60'
    That's a few instances now where Campbell has looked to get on the end of a long ball from the back before being flagged offside. Italy have struggled with his pace so far and you get the impression one of those moves will work eventually.
  • 59'
    Italy may have improved since the break, but Costa Rica still look rather threatening themselves. They don't appear to be particularly fazed, either. 
  • 58'
    Lovely feet from Bolanos as the winger lures De Rossi into making a tackle out on the left. The Costa Rican shows good reactions to skip past the midfielder and he then wins a throw-in.
  • 57'
    Substitution Antonio Candreva Lorenzo Insigne
  • 57'
    Insigne is on for Italy, replacing the ineffectual Candreva.
  • 55'
    The Italians are looking far more lively so far in this second half. They are knocking the ball around with intent and also playing more positive passes into the attacking third.
  • 53'
    Pirlo's free-kick is good as it gets up and over the wall, but Navas produces an acrobatic punching save to clear his lines.
  • 52'
    Cheap foul conceded by Umana about 35 yards from goal, sending Cassano to the floor. Pirlo stands over the kick.
  • 51'
    Good stop by Navas! Darmian, who has rarely got forward so far, finally gets into an advanced position down the left. He cuts inside and on to his right foot, before sending a powerful drive towards the goal. Navas tips it over, though.
  • 50'
    Bolanos delivers the corner and the ball makes its way all the way through to the back post, but Tejeda is unable to keep is header on target.
  • 49'
    More good play by Costa Rica down the left. Bolanos plays Diaz into the attacking third and although his first touch is not great, the wing-back wins a corner from Abata.
  • 48'
    Balotelli wants a penalty after being taken down by Duarte in the area, but it would have been a harsh decision. Costa Rica try to spring a counterattack, but Campbell is nudged over.
  • 47'
    Italy are straight on to the attack, meanwhile. Balotelli gets forward down the left and plays the ball against a defender and he wins a corner. 
  • 47'
    There was one change at the break as Thiago Motta was replaced by Cassano, who makes his first World Cup appearance.
  • 46'
    Substitution Thiago Motta Antonio Cassano
  • 46'
    Here we go. Costa Rica get the second half started in Recife.
  • Another enthralling half of World Cup action. Italy took their time in waking up, but once they did it was a very entertaining encounter. Balotelli should have given Italy the lead, twice, but the Italians have been wasteful. Pirlo has impressed once again, but at the back Prandelli's men have been all over the place. Campbell should have been awarded a late penalty following a trip by Chiellini, but they responded about a minute later as Ruiz nodded in off the bar. Costa Rica deserve their lead and, as it stands, England are heading out of the competition.
  • 45' + 1'
    HALF-TIME!
  • 44'
    Assist Junior Díaz
  • 44'
    Goal Bryan Ruiz
    GOAL!!! COSTA RICA TAKE THE LEAD! Diaz produces another truly fantastic cross from the left and Ruiz, who peeled away towards the back post, nods it in off the crossbar. Nothing less than what they deserve.
  • 43'
    COSTA RICA DENIED A PENALTY! Campbell does brilliantly after taking up possession and he runs straight at the Italian defence. The Arsenal forward darts between Chiellini and Barzagli, but the former bundles him over. That has to be a penalty, but it isn't given!
  • 42'
    Buffon slaps away the Costa Rica corner, but they are quick to work the ball back into the danger zone. Ruiz plays a clever chipped pass back into the box and Duarte meets it with a header, but his attempt lands on top of the goal.
  • 41'
    Important block by Chiellini there! Diaz's cross from the left is very good and invites Campbell to pounce, but the Italian defender makes an important block, conceding a corner in the process.
  • 39'
    Decent play by Ruiz as he picks up the ball in a deep position, breezes past De Rossi and then fires from about 25 yards. Once again, though, the effort is tame and Buffon collects comfortably.
  • 38'
    Italian have significantly improved in the last 10 or 15 minutes. Pirlo has really livened up and his passing has been exceptional. Costa Rica are struggling to keep him quiet.
  • 36'
    Smart save by Buffon! Bolanos comes in off the left flank once again and after being given so much space by the Italian defence, he curls a shot towards the bottom-right corner. Buffon, however, gets down to palm it away.
  • 35'
    We have another break in play now as Diaz and De Rossi clash together in the midfield, with both players rolling around in agony. The referee gives Italy a free-kick and the two players are soon up and about again.
  • 33'
    BALOTELLI AGAIN! Pirlo is involved again, but this time his pass is flicked on by the head of Motta and Balotelli strikes it with a first-time volley from the edge of the box, hitting it straight at Navas.
  • 31'
    HUGE MISS BY BALOTELLI! Pirlo plays an outrageous first-time pass from the halfway line, lifting the ball over the defence for Balotelli to chase down. The former Manchester City man gets on the end of it and tries to loop the bouncing ball over Navas, but he inexplicably fails to hit the target.
  • 30'
    Balotelli is not impressed with the referee at the moment. Tejeda produces a fine tackle on the Italian, leaving him rolling around in pain. However, once the ball is sportingly kicked out of play, he is up again very soon. 
  • 28'
    The Costa Rica fans are cheering "ole" every time they complete a pass and they do look quite inventive with the ball, but they haven't done an awful lot with it in the last 10 minutes or so.
  • 27'
    Good move by the Italians. Pirlo, who has been quiet so far, plays an accurate pass into an advanced area for Balotelli. The Milan forward nods the ball down for Motta, who sends a half-volley wide of the bottom-left corner.
  • 25'
    Poor decision from the assistant there. De Rossi plays a decent pass over the Costa Rica backline for Balotelli and he brings the ball down well, holding off Duarte in the process. However, he is incorrectly flagged offside.
  • 23'
    The Milan star is involved in the play again. This time he latches on to a lofted ball down the right flank and a good show of pace sees him breach the penalty area. However, Balotelli's touch deserts him and Gonzalez makes a well-timed tackle, before earning a free-kick.
  • 21'
    Balotelli finally comes to life in the attacking third as he slaloms between a couple of tackles, but he is quickly dispossessed by a defender. He has looked so isolated until now.
  • 20'
    We have a brief pause in play now as Duarte fires in a powerful cross from the left and it strikes Chiellini right in the face, with the Italian then flopping to the floor. He does appear to be fine, though.
  • 18'
    Nimble footwork from Campbell as he holds off Darmian and tricks his way into space, but his delivery into the area after cutting on to his left foot is poor and subsequently cleared by the first man.
  • 17'
    Buffon is a little more convincing from this corner as he slaps the ball away, but he fails to catch the ball. Nevertheless, Italy clear the ball eventually.
  • 16'
    Italy's start really has been poor. Marchisio is the latest to be found guilty of awful sloppiness. The midfielder plays a long-distance back-pass towards Buffon, but he gives his Juve team-mate no chance and concedes a corner.
  • 14'
    Balotelli has hardly had a sniff so far. Chiellini looks to play the Milan star into the area with a long ball from the back, but it is way too far ahead of him and Gonzalez sees it back to Navas. 
  • 12'
    Sloppy play by Italy as Abate gets forward in an attempt to make the most of an advanced throw-in. However, he gets the ball and immediately knocks it straight out of play.
  • 11'
    Costa Rica will be encouraged by their start so far. They've had the only real chance until now, and they appear very confident going forward. They'll need to be at their best to stop Balotelli & Co.
  • 9'
    Italy are straight back down the other end, though. The rampaging Darmian wins a corner from Gonzalez down the left, but Balotelli commits a foul in the area after Pirlo's delivery.
  • 8'
    BIG CHANCE! Ruiz's corner is fired into the area and Borges meets it with a powerful hader, but his effort flies over the crossbar. He should have done better there, with Buffon all at sea.
  • 7'
    Good movement from Tejeda as he latches on to a pass from Bolanos in the left side of the Italy area. The angle becomes tight and Chiellini ultimately blocks the attempted cross. Corner for Costa Rica.
  • 6'
    Duarte is lucky to escape a yellow card on this occasion as he cynically hauls Marchisio down just when Italy looked to be breaking forward. The referee has a word, but no card given.
  • 5'
    Free-kick to Costa Rica on the left flank as Diaz shows clever feet after controlling the ball with his chest. He flicks the ball over Abate, drawing him into a foul and is sent tumbling.
  • 4'
    Heavy touch from Diaz on the left allows Candreva to pounce. The midfield steals the ball and charges forward. He tries to pick Balotelli out with a pass, but Umana covers well and makes a good interception.
  • 2'
    There is the match's first shot, but it is a rather tame effort. Ruiz and Borges put together a clever one-two towards the left, taking Motta out of the equation before slipping a pass to Bolanos. The FC Copenhagen man tried his luck from range, but the ball barely reaches Buffon.
  • 1'
    We're off! Italy get the action started.
  • The teams are now out for the national anthems.
  • Pinto, though, has unsurprisingly named an unchanged side to the one which defeated Uruguay in such exciting fashion. Marco Urena, who netted against Oscar Tabarez's men, remains on the bench as Bolanos and Campbell head the attack, with support likely to come from Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges.
  • Elsewhere in the team, Ignazio Abate is deployed on the right-hand side of the defence, replacing Gabriel Paletta. In midfield, Marco Verratti drops to the bench and Thiago Motta slots into his place.
  • Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has been able to recall goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to the starting XI after he missed the England clash with an injury. This will be the Juventus star's fifth World Cup.
  • This fixture could impact massively on England's chances of qualification, following their morale-sapping 2-1 loss to Uruguay on Thursday night. The English will be hoping for a big Italy victory, but a triumph for Costa Rica would officially eliminate them before they even face Pinto's side on Tuesday.
  • These two sides both emerged victorious from their respective opening matches, but in significantly different situations. Italy put in a professional display against England to win 2-1, with goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli enough to earn all three points. Costa Rica, meanwhile, stunned Uruguay to win 3-1. Few considered Jorge Luis Pinto's men to be much of a threat in Group D, but their free-flowing, counterattacking display attracted great praise, while Joel Campbell starred with a dynamic performance.
  • Costa Rica subs: Pemberton, Acosta, Myrie, Barrantes, Francis, Granados, Brenes, Miller, Calvo, Urena, Cubero, Cambronero.
  • Costa Rica (5-3-2): Navas; Gamboa, Duarte, Gonzalez, Umana, Diaz; Borges, Ruiz, Tejeda; Campbell, Bolanos.
  • Italy subs: Sirigu, Perrin, De Sciglio, Cassano, Cerci, Aquilani, Immobile, Parolo, Bonucci, Paletta, Insigne, Verratti.
  • Italy (4-1-4-1): Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Darmian; De Rossi; Candreva, Pirlo, Motta, Marchisio; Balotelli.
  • CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
  • Welcome to the LIVE text commentary of the FIFA World Cup Group D meeting between Italy and Costa Rica. The Arena Pernambuco in Recife plays host to us today as these two sides aim to hit the six-point mark and close in on a knockout spot.