Jun 24, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Arena das Dunas, Natal
Italy
0-1
Uruguay

Balotelli (22'), De Sciglio (77')
Marchisio (59')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Godin (81')
Rios (46'), Muslera (90')

Live Commentary: Italy 0-1 Uruguay - as it happened

Uruguay's defender Diego Godin celebrates scoring with his teammates during the Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live text commentary of the World Cup Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal.

Uruguay booked their place in the knockout stages of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Group D rivals Italy at the Arena das Dunas in Natal.

In a game of few chances, the Italians looked in control before Claudio Marchisio was sent off just before the hour mark.

Luis Suarez appeared to bite Giorgio Chiellini and soon after Diego Godin scored the winner for Uruguay that saw them progress from the group.

Find out how the action unfolded below.


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4pmGood afternoon everyone! Many thought before the World Cup started that Italy and Uruguay would make it through to the knockout stages of the tournament, but few would have predicted a final group match battle to join Costa Rica in the last 16. That is exactly what has happened, as defeats against the unfancied Central Americans means that only one of these former world champions will be extending their stay in Brazil.

4.03pmIt seemed as if we had seen the shock of the tournament when Costa Rica claimed 3-1 win against Uruguay in their opening match, but they topped that with a sensational 1-0 win over the Azzurri to seal their passage from the group. They can win the group with a point or better against England and will face whoever comes second in Group C, which contains Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece.

4.06pmA look at the Group D table shows you that Italy will go through with a point, by virtue of their goal difference. Only a win will do for Uruguay, who reignited their World Cup hopes with a 2-1 win against England. Luis Suarez stole the show that night and his country will need him to find his clinical touch in front of goal again this evening.

4.08pmITALY STARTING XI: Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio, Darmian, Marchisio, Pirlo, Verratti, Immobile, Balotelli

4.09pmURUGUAY STARTING XI: Muslera, Caceres, Godin, Gimenez, Pereira, Alvaro Gonzalez, Rios, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Cavani, Suarez

4.12pmTEAM NEWS: Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has switched to 3-5-2 formation following their defeat against Costa Rica. Juventus trio Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli play in the centre of the defence, with Matteo Darmian and Mattia De Sciglio occupying the wingback roles. With Daniele De Rossi ruled out, Marco Verratiti returns to the midfield and Claudio Marchisio drops into a deeper role. Ciro Immobile also makes the starting lineup where he will he partner Mario Balotelli in the attack.

4.15pmMeanwhile, Uruguay have named the same starting XI that beat England last time out. It means that Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani continue together up front with Diego Forlan on the bench. Captain Diego Lugano is still not fit enough to start, so Jose Maria Gimenez keeps his spot in the defence, while Maxi Pereira is back in the squad after serving a one-match ban.

4.18pmThe key tonight will surely be how each defence copes with their opponents' world class strikers. After scoring the winner against England, Mario Balotelli did not enjoy his best game in an Italian shirt last time out and his frustration showed as he picked up a cheap booking in the second half. He had two decent openings, but surprisingly fluffed his lines and made almost no impact in the closing stages. On his day he can be unplayable, but Italy need him at his best if they are to go far in this tournament.

4.21pmUruguay were without their star man Luis Suarez for the opening group match and badly missed his class in the final third. He made his return to the side just a month after knee surgery to score two well-taken goals in an inspirational display. Edinson Cavani has had a quiet tournament, but he scored against Costa Rica and set up Suarez for his first goal in Sao Paulo. These two strikers have proved that you can keep them at bay for large spells in a match, but take your eye of them for a second and they will punish you.


4.24pmAnother area that the game will be won and last is the centre of midfield. Andrea Pirlo completely dominated against England and was at the heart of all his team's best moves, but he was unable to exert that influence against Costa Rica. He still managed to clip a wonderful pass over the top for Balotelli to latch onto, however he was closed down well by his opponents. The likes of Egidio Arevalo Rios and Cristian Rodriguez in the Uruguay team are unlikely to man mark Pirlo which should give him some extra room to lead Italy's attacks.

4.27pmJudging from both teams' first two games, they are each susceptible to attacks down the flanks. Junior Diaz caused no end of problems for Italy in the last game and it was his cross from the left that led to the Bryan Ruiz's match-winning header. England's goal in the opening group match also came from a left-wing cross by Wayne Rooney, so Cesare Prandelli will be hoping for a more solid display from his right back today.



4.30pmIf Italy seemed slightly weaker on the right, then the same can be said of Uruguay's left-hand side. Three of the four goals that they have conceded so far have originated from that area of the pitch, which has not been helped by the various changes they have made to the back four. They have been exposed by a lack of pace on a number of occasions so far and if they continue in that vein of form then Balotelli can punish them.

4.33pmLet's take a quick look now at the Arena das Dunas, which is the venue that hosts today's match. It has been built specifically for the World Cup and was only opened in January. Following the tournament, it will be the home to local side America de Natal, while their rivals ABC FC will use the ground for important matches. It hasn't exactly been a goal fest in the three games that have already been played at the stadium in the group stages so far, with Mexico edging to a 1-0 win over Cameroon, the USA beating Ghana 2-1 and Japan sharing a goalless draw with Greece.



4.36pmWell, according to FIFA, we are going to be watching two of the teams ranked among the 10 best in world football. Uruguay are in seventh place, with Italy just two behind in ninth. Of course where you are ranked doesn't mean anything on the day, with sixth placed Switzerland hammered by 17th placed France last week. Costa Rica are another great example, as their rank of 28th in the world has not stopped them beating teams perceived to be far better than they are.

4.39pmThese two nations have played each other 10 times previously in all competitions, with Italy winning twice and Uruguay coming out on top in four of those meetings. Today's match will be the third time that they will play each other in the World Cup finals. In their first tournament clash in 1970 they met in the group stages and played out a goalless draw, as both teams eventually made the knockout stages. They faced each other again 20 years later in 1990, with Salvatore Schillaci and Aldo Serena scoring for Italy to give them a 2-0 win in the last 16 in Rome.

4.42pmThe last time that these two teams met was in the third-place playoff of the Confederations Cup last summer. Davide Astori tapped home for Italy in the first half-half, but Edinson Cavani drew his side level just before the hour-mark. A stunning free kick from Alessandro Diamanti put the Azzurri back into the lead, before an equally sensational effort from Cavani levelled the scores for the second time. The game eventually went to penalties, with Italy winning 3-2 in the shootout thanks to three saves from Gianluigi Buffon.


4.45pmWhile much of the pre-match talk has been about Mario Balotelli and Luis Suarez, the man who could make the difference today is Italy's Ciro Immobile. The 24-year-old was the top-scorer in Serie A last season, with his 22 league goals helping Torino to finish a respectable seventh. His form has earned him a big money move to Borussia Dortmund, where he has the unenviable task of replacing Robert Lewandowski. He is more than capable of the spectacular and it will be interesting to see how he links up with his strike partner Balotelli today.

4.50pmPREDICTION: This match couldn't be set up any better and it should make for a fascinating 90 minutes. Italy are well renowned for grinding out results when they need to, but it would be dangerous to settle for a draw when facing the likes of Cavani and Suarez. With so much at stake we should see a much improved performance from both teams, but I just feel that Italy have more quality in their side to get the point they need today, with a 1-1 draw how I see things finishing.

4.53pmWe're fast approaching kick off now and one man hoping that it is not his last appearance for Italy is the brilliant Andrea Pirlo. He has hinted at retiring from the national side following the tournament and his presence in the team would be sorely missed.



4.54pmBoth teams are out on the pitch and we are now about to hear the national anthems, starting with Italy.

4.57pmA rapturous applause from the supporters follows the completion of the anthems and we are now just a few minutes away from the start of his crucial match.

1 minKICKOFF! We are underway at the Arena das Dunas!

2 minItaly might have a problem here, as Balotelli is feeling his knee following a challenge from Rodriguez. He was charging through the midfield before being bundled over and may have landed awkwardly. The striker does end up getting back up on his feet and his team will hope he can shake it off.

5 minThere have still not been any chances on goal from either side, as they both battle for possession in the midfield. We have already seen a few crunching challenges and I would expect plenty more of those to come throughout the course of the 90 minutes.

8 minAlmost a chance for Uruguay, as Suarez curls in a free kick from out wide on the left with Buffon coming out to punch. It ends up landing at the feet of Gonzalez, who sees his shot blocked, before he follows up with a header that is straight at Buffon.

10 minItaly are starting to enjoy plenty of the possession now and Pirlo in particular is seeing a lot of the ball. They are also looking to get players forward quickly in support of their front two, instead of sitting back and holding on to the draw that would see them go through.

12 minCHANCE! Italy are given a free kick not too far inside the Uruguayan half and they send plenty of men forward into the box. Instead of trying to pick out any of his teammates though, Pirlo goes for goal with a powerful strike that is tipped over the top by Muslera.

15 minI can tell you that despite picking up that early knock, Balotelli is looking fine and only just fails to keep in a Pirlo ball over the top. As for Uruguay, their star man Suarez hasn't seen much of the ball, but we all know that he just needs one chance to make a difference.

18 minPirlo is certainly enjoying himself much more than in Italy's match against Costa Rica. Uruguay aren't focusing on closing him down, meaning that he is able to come and pick the ball up off the back four in order to build his team's attacks.

21 minWe really have not seen too much in the way of chances in the first 20 minutes. Pirlo and Suarez's free kicks from range that forced the keepers into action are the closest either side have come. Italy won't mind one bit, with this scoreline enough for them to progress.

22 minYELLOW CARD! It's a blow to Italy, as Balotelli picks up a card for a high challenge on Pereira. The yellow card means that he will be suspended if his team make it through to the last 16.

25 minAn early look at the statistics sees Italy have had 67% of the possession, and it clearly shows. They are pushing Uruguay back deep inside their own half, with Suarez and Cavani struggling to make an impact on the match. It seems that Prandelli's change in formation has made it hard for the South Americans to play against.

27 minBalotelli has his first shot on goal this afternoon, but it is one to forget as the striker drags his effort well wide of the target. It seems as though they are looking to crank up the pressure, with Marchisio seeing a long-range drive blocked by the defence on the edge of the box.

29 minIt's all Italy at the moment and Immobile is picked out on the edge of the box, before firing a first-time volley over the bar. You would expect a player of his quality to have at least tested the keeper there, especially considering the season that he has just had.

32 minStunning from Pirlo, who plays an inch-perfect ball over the top for Immobile from deep inside his own half. The Dortmund man goes to control it on his chest, but sees it get away from him and the defence are able to clear.

33 minCHANCE! Uruguay have not seen much of the ball, but they come close to breaking the deadlock. Suarez is slipped through on goal, but from a tight angle he sees his effort blocked by the on-rushing Buffon. The ball then comes out to Lodeiro who drives in a shot, but the Italian number one is up quickly to make the save.

36 minThat moment of danger for Uruguay just shows the threat they possess with Suarez in the team. He didn't see much of the ball against England, but his only two effort on targets that night ended up winning his team a vital three points. Speaking of England, their match against Costa Rica is still goalless.

39 minThis moment just about the sums up the first half so far. Caceres has the ball just inside his own half and he spots Buffon off his line, but his effort on goal is poor and is nowhere near reaching the target. He has not scored many goals in his career and there was no chance he was going to beat his Juventus teammate there.

42 minGodin may have looked poor in the tournament so far, but he has been solid for his team tonight. He has made sure that Italy's front two have not got a glimpse of the goal and Immobile is having no joy when the two battle for the ball in the air.

45 minUruguay win a corner as the game heads into first-half stoppage time, of which two minutes have been added.

45+1 minSuarez whips the corner into the box, but it comes to nothing as Italy clear the ball at the front post.

45+2 minHALF-TIME: Italy 0-0 Uruguay

5.48pmThat's it for the first half, where both sides have headed into the break on level terms. Chances were few and far between in what was a dominant showing from Italy, who are going through to the last 16 as things stand.

5.52pmHere's how the stats of the game look at half time. Italy have seen 61% of the ball, with their midfield largley in control of the match. Uruguay have had seven attempts on goal, which is two more than their opponents have mustered. There have also been plenty of stoppages in play, with 23 fouls from both teams combined.

Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez and Italy's midfielder Claudio Marchisio vie during the Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014© Getty Images


5.56pmAs things stand, Costa Rica are on top in Group D with seven points. Italy and Uruguay are just behind with four points, but the Italians lead the way on goal difference. England are set to finish bottom of the group with just one point from their three games.

6pmUruguay manager Oscar Tabarez may be thinking about making some changes, with his side 45 minutes away from exiting the tournament. Diego Forlan was far from his best in their opening group match, but he has the skill and class to unlock any defence. Another option could be Christian Stuani, who also hasn't been at his best in the finals, but was in good form for his country in their warmup matches.

6.02pmThe players are making their way out of the tunnel for the second half and Italy are set to make a change at the break. It's Balotelli who is going to off, with Parma midfielder Marco Parolo coming on.

6.03pmUruguay have also made a change with Maxi Pereira replacing Nicolas Lodeiro.

46 minUruguay take the kick off and get the match back underway.

46 minYELLOW CARD! With less than a minute played in the second half Arevalo Rios picks up a booking for Uruguay for a foul from behind on Verratti.

49 minIt's been a positive start to the half by Uruguay who are seeing more of the ball and are trying to get players forward much quicker. With an extra midfielder on for Italy, it could prove to be even tougher for them to break down their opponents.

51 minCavani goes down in the box following a tussle with Chiellini but the referee decides against giving a penalty. It looked like the Uruguayan striker was trying to make the most of the situation there and he may also have been in an offside position.

55 minParolo makes his first significant contribution of the match as he bursts forward towards the Uruguayan box and flicks on a header out wide for Immobile. The striker works his way to the byline and tries to cut into the box, but he is cut out again by the defence. It has been a tough night for Immobile, who has put in a lot of effort but has not been able to get a clear chance on goal.

58 minCHANCE! What an opening for Uruguay. Suarez shows his class by playing the ball through to Rodríguez who cuts in from the left. He is in acres of space, but takes the shot on early and lashes his effort wide of goal.

59 minRED CARD TO ITALY! The Italians are down to 10 men as Marchisio is shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Arevalo Rios. It was a harsh decision by the referee, but Prandelli's men will have to play the last part of this match without the midfielder.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: Uruguay respond to their opponents' red card by making their second change of the match, with Stuani coming on for Pereira.

65 minDespite going down to 10 men Italy manage to pick out Immobile with a long ball over the top and get players in support of him. The striker cuts inside before finding Pirlo in space, but the midfielder's strike from range is hit well over the bar.

66 minCHANCE! Brilliant from Buffon! The Juventus keeper is called into action when Suarez picks up a loose effort from Cavani on the edge of the box, before drilling in a low strike that he tips around the post.

69 minItaly are finding a lot of room and you would not believe that it is they who are the team down to 10 men. They are almost in on goal too, as Parolo cuts inside before slipping the ball into the path of Immobile, but the striker was correctly flagged offside.

71 minSUBSTITUTION: Italy have made a change, with Immobile heading off to be replaced by Cassano.

73 minCavani is lucky to escape a booking for a late challenge on Verratti, with the Italian down in a lot of pain. His teammates have called for a replacement so we could be seeing a final change for the Azzzuri.

75 minSUBSTITUTION: As expected, Verratti is unable to continue and his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Motta comes on in his place.

77 minYELLOW CARD! De Sciglio is the second Italian to pick up a card this evening for a clumsy challenge on Maxi Pereira.

78 minSUBSTITUTION: Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez makes his final change of the match, with Ramírez coming on for Rodriguez.

79 minControversial moment here as Suarez looks to have moved his head into the direction of Chiellini. The defender falls to the floor and as he gets up, he gestures to the referee that Suarez may have bitten him. In the end the match official gives Italy the free kick with neither player getting a booking.

81 minGOAL! Italy 0-1 Uruguay (Diego Godin)

81 minExtraordinary scenes here as Uruguay take the lead with less than 10 minutes of the match left to play. It comes from a corner and as the ball is whipped into the middle by Ramirez, it ends up hitting Godin on the back, before finding the bottom corner. As things stand, the South Americans are heading through to the last 16.

85 minCHANCE! Italy must throw everything that they have got at this match now and they win a free kick in a promising position for Pirlo. The midfielder looks to produce one of his trademark efforts, but his strike takes a deflection before heading wide of the post.

86 minCassano and Motta combine well in the midfield and eventually work their way to the edge of the box, but as the Parma man tries to slip his teammate into the area, his final ball heads out harmlessly for a throw in. Italy have just a few minutes left to save their tournament.

89 minThere is plenty of room for Uruguay to exploit on the counter attack and Suarez is played the ball in acres of space. He bursts forward past two defenders and has support, but tries to take on one player too many and is tackled, with the opportunity going to waste.

90 minWe are going to have five minutes of stoppage time.

90+2 minYELLOW CARD! Muslera is the second Uruguayan to be booked by the referee for time wasting.

90+5 minIt's all Italy at the moment and they have won a free kick just inside the Uruguayan half. They are sending everyone forward for this with Pirlo to take.

90+6 minThe free kick comes to nothing and Uruguay are just moments away from reaching the last 16.

90+6 minFULL-TIME: Italy 0-1 Uruguay

6.54pmIt's all over and Uruguay have got the three points that they needed to make it through to the knockout stages. It was certainly a controversial second half and there will be plenty of complaints from the Azzurri to come.

6.57pmItaly will have been furious at Marchisio's red card, but equally angered that Suarez was not sent off for appearing to bite Chiellini. The Liverpool forward may come in for some punishment from FIFA if he is found guilty.

Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez reacts past Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014© Getty Images


7pmWell, that's all we've got time for after an eventful match. The final Group D table shows Costa Rica leading the way on seven points following a goalless draw against England, with Uruguay behind them on six points. Please stay with us at Sports Mole for all of the reaction to today's games and live commentaries of tonight's Group C fixtures. Thank you for joining me, until next time, goodbye!

Members of the Uruguay national team pose prior to a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014
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