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1 vs 2
Played
June 16, 2013 8:00 PM BST
Estadio Jornalista Mário Filho (Maracanã) — Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
Referee:‬ E. Osses‎
Attendance:‬ 73123‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Mexico 1-2 Italy

Late Mario Balotelli strike seals the points for the Azzurri in their Confederations Cup opener as Andrea Pirlo marks his 100th international appearance with stunning goal

By Greg Stobart at the Maracana, Rio de Janeiro

  • J. Corona
    73
    22
    3.00

    J. Corona

    Sharp saves in the first-half to deny Balotelli and was brave enough to throw himself at Italian players' feet. Could do nothing but watch Pirlo's marvellous free-kick hit the net.

  • Rodríguez
    7
    69
    2.00

    Rodríguez

    Solid display for the most part from the Mexico captain until his half-hearted attempt to hold off Balotelli for Italy's winner.

  • Héctor Moreno
    17
    35
    3.00

    Héctor Moreno

    Gave Balotelli too much room in the first 20 minutes but recovered well as Italy's chances were restricted in the second-half.

  • Jose Andrés Guardado
    53
    28
    2.50

    Jose Andrés Guardado

    The wide man was a threat for Mexico and was not afraid to shoot at goal, going closest in the first-half when his left-footed shot clipped the crossbar.

  • G. Flores
    6
    51
    2.00

    G. Flores

    Mexico's weak link for much of the game and Italy exploited his poor positioning as they worked the ball out wide. Also struggled with his one-on-one defending and offered very little on the ball.

  • C. Salcido
    37
    22
    3.00

    C. Salcido

    Solid display from the Tigres full-back as he took up decent positions and was tenacious in denying Balotelli and Marchisio space.

  • Gerardo Torrado
    12
    42
    2.50

    Gerardo Torrado

    Worked hard at the base of the midfield but found it hard to handle Italy's fluid passing and movement. Tidy in possession as he kept his passing simple.

  • J. Aquino
    6
    47
    2.50

    J. Aquino

    Some classy touches and drops of the shoulder but lacked end product. Taken off in the 54th minute, shortly after he had failed to play an easy pass to Hernandez to go in search of a solo goal.

  • J. Zavala
    13
    34
    2.50

    J. Zavala

    Showed impressive energy levels as he pressed the Italy midfield - but the problem was he couldn't get near Pirlo.

  • Giovani dos Santos
    129
    26
    3.50

    Giovani dos Santos

    The attacker always threatened for Mexico on the counter-attack and was too sharp for Italy defenders in the final third. Robbed Abate to set up a chance for Guardado before he nipped in front of Barzagli to force the penalty.

  • Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
    124
    49
    3.00

    Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez

    Scored his 33rd goal for Mexico with a coolly taken penalty in the 34th minute. Always on the move but lacked service from midfield to get in behind the Italy defence.

Substitutions

  • H. Mier
    25
    18
    3.00

    H. Mier

    Replaced Aquino in the 84th minute but failed to add anything to the Mexico midfield.

  • R. Jiménez
    12
    27

    R. Jiménez

    Came on for Zavala four minutes from time.

  • Gianluigi Buffon
    237
    25
    3.00

    Gianluigi Buffon

    The Italy captain had very little to do of note but was reliable when called upon.

  • Giorgio Chiellini
    209
    29
    3.00

    Giorgio Chiellini

    A comfortable game for the Juventus man at the heart of the Italy defence. Stayed tight up against Hernandez to deny the Mexico striker room in the penalty area.

  • Mattia De Sciglio
    319
    26
    3.00

    Mattia De Sciglio

    Played well defensively and, more importantly, constantly offered an outlet on Italy's left side as he ran up and down the line.

  • Andrea Barzagli
    87
    177
    2.00

    Andrea Barzagli Flop of the Match

    The usually reliable central defender made a horrendous error when he completely lost concentration before bundling down dos Santos for Mexico's penalty award.

  • Ignazio Abate
    166
    53
    2.50

    Ignazio Abate

    Caught napping early on when he tried to see the ball out of play but the Milan full-back recovered well. Could perhaps have offered more of an attacking outlet.

  • Claudio Marchisio
    94
    159
    2.00

    Claudio Marchisio

    Worked hard but failed to have any influence on the game. Should have done better in the second-half when the ball fell to him kindly but he toe-poked his shot straight at Corona. Replaced by Cerci in the 68th minute.

  • Daniele De Rossi
    227
    26
    3.00

    Daniele De Rossi

    Alongside Pirlo, the Roma man kept Italy ticking and started attacks with inventive, progressive passing. Looked a little leggy when forced to face his own goal when Mexico counter-attacked.

  • Riccardo Montolivo
    248
    36
    3.00

    Riccardo Montolivo

    Classy performance from the midfielder as he linked Italy's play and very rarely conceded possession.

  • Andrea Pirlo
    568
    33
    4.00

    Andrea Pirlo Top of the Match

    The legendary midfielder marked his 100th cap with a sensational free kick to open the scoring in the 27th minute, whipping the ball over the wall and into the top corner from 25 yards. Cruised around the middle of the pitch dictating the game and playing one particularly eye-catching pass for abate.

  • Emanuele Giaccherini
    137
    131
    2.50

    Emanuele Giaccherini

    Troubled the Mexico defence early on with his aggressive running but influence faded as the game went on.

  • Mario Balotelli
    469
    31
    3.50

    Mario Balotelli

    The striker appeared to have drifted out of the game before he popped up with the winner 12 minutes from time, holding off Mexico defenders to fire past Corona. Had tested the Mexico goalkeeper twice in the opening exchanges with powerful efforts but could have provided more movement when Pirlo was on the ball.

Substitutions

  • Alberto Aquilani
    95
    42

    Alberto Aquilani

    Replaced Giaccherini two minutes from time.

  • Alessio Cerci
    111
    63
    3.00

    Alessio Cerci

    Played with energy and enthusiasm after replacing Marchisio in the 68th minute.

  • Alberto Gilardino
    81
    53

    Alberto Gilardino

    Came on for Balotelli four minutes from time.

Results
Group A Matchday 1
Times In BST
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Fernando Torres Fernando Torres
Striker
Chelsea
5 0
Fred Fred
Striker
Fluminense
5 0
Abel Hernández Abel Hernández
Striker
Palermo
4 1
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
4 0
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Striker
Man Utd.
3 1