It may have been one of the better England performances at a major tournament in recent times but it wasn't enough to ensure the Three Lions salvaged something from their clash with Italy. bet365 now make the Three Lions 10/11 (1.91) to qualify from Group D and 28/1 (29.0) to win the tournament.
The Azzurri were clinical where England were wasteful and although Roy Hodgson's men showed plenty of intent with encouraging displays from the likes of Raheem Sterling, who proved a thorn in the side of Italy throughout, they couldn't muster a second goal to get themselves back into the game.
Both sides had chances in the early exchanges but it was Italy who broke the deadlock through Claudio Marchisio, the Juventus midfielder hit a low drive through a crowded penalty box and past Joe Hart after a well-worked training ground routine.
England's reply was immediate; a counter attack saw Sterling send a slide-rule pass into the path of Wayne Rooney whose cross was finished from close range by Daniel Sturridge to get England back on level terms. As impressive as Rooney's cross was, the Manchester United striker cut a frustrated figure throughout the game for the most part, having been deployed on the left hand side of Hodgson's attacking midfield trio.
It was Mario Balotelli who proved decisive though, the AC Milan frontman putting his side back in front early in the second half after a delightful cross from Antonio Candreva and for all England's efforts they couldn't avoid starting their World Cup campaign with a defeat.
Uruguay were shocked by Costa Rica in the opening Group D clash as Joel Campbell inspired his side to claim three points after trailing 1-0 at half-time with the pre-match underdogs coming back to win 3-1 thanks to a fantastic second half performance. Costa Rica were as big as 33/1 (34.0) to win the group, a price that is now just 11/2 (6.50).
That result has put even more pressure on England's meeting with the South American side on Thursday, with both sides deserpately in need of three points to get their respective campaigns back on track. Uruguay can be backed at 8/11 (1.73) to finish bottom of the group.
Italy have been cut into 18/1 (19.0) to win the World Cup and are now just 1/10 (1.10) to qualify and 2/5 (1.40) to top the group. Mario Balotelli is a 20/1 (21.0) chance to finish as top goalscorer with bet365.
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