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June 24, 2014
• Arena das Dunas, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte
Referee: M. Rodríguez
• Attendance: 39706
D. Godín 81'
Well...that escalated quickly! A cagey, tight first half devoid of chances and talking points gave way to an exciting and memorable last 45...but this will be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Italy are out along with England as Uruguay will play Brazil in the second round after finishing runners-up behind Costa Rica. I have been Hayden Gribble and I hope that you enjoy the rest of the World Cup. Until next time...goodnight.
FULL TIME: ITALY 0-1 URUGUAY. The whistle blows amid screams of joy from the South Americans as Italy go crashing out of the World Cup group stage for the second time in a row. A controversial game, which saw a red card for Marchisio and what looked like a bite from Suarez on the shoulder of Chiellini, the Azzurri will feel hard done by but Godin's late header was the difference at the end of the game.
90' + 4'
The Uruguayans are looking composed and measured on the ball and are running the time down. Pirlo is fouled but his quick free-kick is thwarted by Godin at the back.
90' + 2'
The tears are beginning to well up in the eyes of the Italian supporters as time ebbs away in Natal. Uruguay are almost there!
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Néstor Muslera Micol
There will be FIVE minutes for Italy to save their World Cup campaign.
Cavani plays it forward to Suarez who is one on one in the Italian half but the Liverpool man faisl to find his man in the centre, much to the frustration of his strike partner.
All the noise within the stadium is coming from the South Americans as Italy try to tika-taka their way past the Uruguayan defence but Cassano's pass goes out for a throw-in.
Temperatures are rising on the touchline as Pirlo lines up a free-kick 30 yards from goal. The Juventus playmaker's low effort is deflected wide for a corner as one of the Azzurri's coachesis sent to the stands! It's all going on now!
Assist G. Ramírez
Goal Diego Godín
1-0 TO URUGUAY! With just ten minutes to go, Godin the captain leads by example and heads a bullet of a header past Buffon and into the bottom corner. What a huge moment in this tie! The Azzurri are minutes away from elimination!
SUAREZ IS AT IT AGAIN! The Liverpool striker leans his head into Chiellini and get an elbow in his mouth in retaliation. Both players go down but soon after the Juventus defender runs up to the referee showing off what could be a bite mark on his shoulder. Both players are lucky to stay on the pitch!
Yellow Card Mattia De Sciglio
Maxi Pereira has been a big threat since coming on at the break and he has sent a few dangerous crosses in from the right but the Italian defence are well positioned to snuff out the attack every time.
WORLD CUP STAT ATTACK: Italy have lost only three of their 19 World Cup games against South American opposition - round 1 game against Chile in 1962, the 1970 final and the 1978 third place game against Brazil.
Immobile makesway for Cassano as the Azzurri continue to look organised. At the moment it is hard to see which side has the extra man as Uruguay have been disappointing today.
Uruguay have the ball in the middle third but there is a sea of blue in front of them stopping them from advancing. Time is running out and the Italians continue to look imperious at the back.
GREAT CHANCE! Immobile is odds on the score but a fantastic sliding tackle from Gimenez puts the ball out for a corner. That was a fantastic tackle from the Atletico Madrid man.
GREAT SAVE! Cavani's shot is blocked on the edge of the box but Suarez picks it up and pokes the ball goalwards with the outside of his right foot, but Buffon gets down quickly and parries the ball out and behind for a corner. That was the best chance of the game so far.
HIGH AND WIDE! Moments after giving the ball away on the right flank, Pirlo picks the ball up and thrashes it over the bar.
The Uruguayans smell blood and throw an extra striker into the mix. There is no better team at defending a clean sheet than Italy...can they survive the last half hour?
RED CARD! Marchisio is given his marching orders after a reckless challenge after going over the top of the ball and catching the shin of Arevalo. The Italian players are going mad and venting their anger at the referee. Marco Rodriguez will not change his mind and the Azzurri are down to ten men!
Red Card Claudio Marchisio
GREAT CHANCE! Rodriguez and Suarez link well and the midfielder goes through on goal but he pokes the ball wide of Buffon's goal with the keeper off his line.
Maxi Pereira goes flying over Chiellini's shoulder as the ball drifts out of play for a goal kick but it is a bruising affair out on the Natal pitch. All it will take is one chance to open the deadlock..but who will take that chance?
The change in formation for Uruguay has seen Cavani have more involvement in this game but he is frustrated by some stern Italy defending.
OVER! Suarez steps up to take a free-kick roughly 35 yards away from goal. His effort is high and not at all pretty as it flies into row z.
PENALTY SHOUT? Cavani throws himself to ground after it looks like Bonucci has a hold of him, but the PSG striker made a meal of that and the referee is not fooled.
It looks Uruguay are pressing more urgently at the start of this half as they look to take a crucial lead. Maxi Pereira is posing a threat down the right since his introduction but Italians are well organised for any attack.
Referee Marco Rodriguez stops play as Caceres is fouled by Marchisio who flies into the midfielder. He is waving the physio on but the Uruguayan should be okay to continue.
Yellow Card E. Arévalo
The South Americans get us back underway!
There is a change for the Azzurri as Balotelli has been taken off with what could be an injury for the AC Milan man. Parolo replaces him as Maxi Pereira enters the fold.
WORLD CUP MATCH STAT: Italy's Marco Verratti completed 100% of his 31 passes in the first half.
The players are nearly ready to emerge back on the pitch for a crucial 45 minutes. Remember, one of these teams is going home so expect this to become more gripping!
HALF TIME: ITALY 0-0 URUGUAY. A double save from Buffon and a yellow card for Balotelli are the main talking points after a dismal first half in Natal. Chances have been few and far between but the Azzurri will be the happiest at the break as their dominant possession football has stiffled the South Americans. More to come after the break.
45' + 1'
OUCH! Chiellini goes over after a wrestling match with Cavani as both tustle for space in the Italian box. The defender looks like he is play acting a bit and is okay to continue.
There will be TWO minutes of added on time.
Despite the reputation of both nations being in jeopardy here with a humilating first round exit, neither side are attacking with the high tempo and exciting football we have come to expect. Will that all change after the break?
Suarez has been so quiet in this game. The Liverpool striker has found chances hard to come by in this half and is retreating further and further into the middle of the pitch just to see some of the ball.
The Azzurri win the ball back in midfield and a well played ball finds Immobile, who takes on Rodriguez down the right but is thwarted by the Athletico Madrid player with a hard but fair tackle.
CACERES GOES FOR GLORY! The Juventus man spots his club teammate off his line and has a shot from 70 yards. However, his radar is well off and it is a goal kick. Both defensive units are so organised that the ball is getting bogged down in the middle of the pitch. The Italians look like they are happy with the draw at the moment.
WORLD CUP STAT ATTACK: Luis Suarez has netted five times in his last seven World Cup appearances.
GREAT SAVE! Suarez leaps into action as he latches onto a good ball from Pereira but he is stopped by the onrushing Buffon, who palms it out to Lodeiro but the Juventus man pounces and clutches the ball to his chest. That was the Uruguayan's best passage of play so far.
Balotelli is upended on the touchline by Caceres and gives a knowing glimpse to Prandelli, who must be praying that his star striker does not react to the harsh challenges he has been victim to so far.
MISS! Immobile has his head in his hands after smashing a deflected cross from the left high over the bar. It was so bad it looked like that shot was going to leave the stadium!
WELL WIDE! Immobile is frustrated after creating space for Balotelli, who skews his shot well wide when he should have put the Torino man through on goal.
The atmosphere has just picked up in Natal following that booking. Balotelli can have no complaints over that yellow card. Marchisio tries his luck from 25 yards but his tame effort is blocked.
Yellow Card Mario Balotelli
BOOKING. Balotelli is going to go into the referee's book after a late challenge on Pereira. The AC Milan hitman will miss the next game if his side qualify for the second round.
Pereira picks the ball up on the left-hand-side and finds Cavani with a low ball, but the striker is under pressure from Chiellini and he toe pokes it out for a goal kick.
WORLD CUP STAT ATTACK: Before this game, Uruguay had scored three goals from just five shots on target in two games.
The Azzurri are probing yet again as Marchisio fails to get on the end of a long ball from Verratti. There have not been any clear chances from the 2006 champions just yet.
Lodeiro's pass forward for Suarez finds the striker struggling to stay onside as he sprints between the central defenders. His pace may just be the key to the lock around Buffon's goal.
There does not seem to be much atmosphere in the stadium at the moment. Who can provide the magic on the pitch to get the fans going? Both sides are still trying to find a foothold in the game.
PIRLO FREE-KICK. Balotelli is brought down by Caceres in a dangerous position roughly 30 yards from goal. This is Pirlo territory and he hits it over the wall but it stings Muslera's palms as he tips it over for a corner.
Not much goalmouth action to speak of at the moment. The Italians are building possession in the midfield but there is a conservative tempo to their play.
CLOSE! Suarez is the first man to trouble Buffon's goal. The striker swings a free-kick in to the box from the left flank but the Juventus stopper is quick off his line to punch the ball away.
The game is slightly cagey at the moment as Chiellini goes in hard on Suarez, making his presence known. The Juventus defender will be breathing down his neck all afternoon.
The Azzurri are playing with a back five in the hope of stiffling the striking threat of Cavani and Suarez. The Liverpool hitman is playing in behind his partner. Meanwhile, Balotelli limps back to his feet after being sandwiched off the ball. It looks like he will be okay.
The referee blows his whistle and the game is underway with Italy kicking from left to right.
The national anthems are sung by both countries. So much rides on this game - it could turn out to be one of the ties of the World Cup! I hope I have not jinxed it now...
The teams are lining up in the tunnel as Buffon and Godin prepare to lead their troops out. Uruguay are in their changed strip of white shirts and Suarez looks focused and determined as kick-off fast approaches.
TEN MINUTES TO GO! The excitement is building in Natal as the stadium continues to fill up. A draw is good enough for Italy to qualify as they have a superior goal difference to Uruguay. The Uruguayans need to win to reach the knock-out stages.
Today’s match referee is Marco Rodriguez of Mexico. He may have his hands full with elimination just 90 minutes away for one of these sides. This is a game that cannot be missed!
WORLD CUP STAT ATTACK: The two teams have met in nine previous matches, including twice in the FIFA World Cup (1970, group stage: Italy 0–0 Uruguay; 1990, round of 16: Italy 2–0 Uruguay). Their most recent meeting was in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup third place match, won by Italy on penalties after a 2–2 draw.
Meanwhile for Los Charruas, boss Oscar Tabarez names an unchanged side to the one that beat England 2-1 last time out. Luis Suarez is fit to start up front with Edinson Cavani. Benfica defender Maxi Pereira returns to the bench after missing the win through suspension.
The big news for the Azzurri is that manager Cesare Prandelli - who is under pressure after his side wilted to a surprise 1-0 defeat to group leaders Costa Rica - starts Ciro Immobile, who was top scorer in Serie A last season. The Borussia Dortmund-bound striker leads the line with Mario Balotelli. Daniele De Rossi is absent with a calf injury but Mattia De Sciglio returns after a thigh problem.
Uruguay: Muslera, Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, A. Pereira, Gonzalez, Rios, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Cavani, Suarez.Subs: Lugano, Fucile, Gargano, Hernández, Forlán, Stuani, Muñoz, Pérez, Maxi Pereira, Ramírez, Coates, Silva.
Italy: Buffon, Darmian, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio, Marchisio, Verratti, Pirlo, Immobile, Balotelli. Subs: Motta, Candreva, Abate, Cassano, Cerci, Sirigu, Perin, Aquilani, De Rossi, Parolo, Paletta, Insigne.
Hello there to those of you around the world and welcome to our coverage of this crucial World Cup Group D tie between Italy and Uruguay. My name is Hayden Gribble and it is my privilege to bring you all of the action from the Arena das Dunas, Natal. Only one of these two sides can join Costa Rica in the knockout stages. Will it be the Andrea Pirlo-inspired four-time winners or will it be the team from South America – who won the Jules Rimet trophy in 1930 and 1950 – who deprive their rivals of a place in the last 16? Let’s have a look at the team news...
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