Jun 20, 2014 at 5pm UK at ‚ÄčArena Pernambuco, Recife
Costa Rica

Balotelli (69')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Ruiz (44')
Cubero (71')

Half-Time Report: Bryan Ruiz heads Costa Rica into half-time lead over Italy

Half-Time Report: Ruiz heads Costa Rica into lead
© Getty Images
Bryan Ruiz gives Costa Rica the lead after 45 minutes of their World Cup Group D match against Italy in Recife.

Bryan Ruiz has given Costa Rica the lead after 45 minutes of their World Cup Group D match against Italy in Recife.

Costa Rica created the first opening of the match when Celso Borges headed Christian Bolanos's corner narrowly over the bar.

Following a slow start the Italians began to grow into the match and Thiago Motta had their first chance when the ball broke to him kindly in space outside the box, but he could only fire an effort wide of the post.

Italy had a clear sight of goal on the half-hour mark when Andrea Pirlo's long ball over the top was taken down by Mario Balotelli, but the striker's attempted chip over the keeper failed to find the target.

The AC Milan striker came close again just moments later when he latched on to Motta's flick, before seeing his powerful effort from the edge of the box beaten away by Keylor Navas.

Costa Rica were still looking to pose a threat and Gianluigi Buffon had to be alert to palm away Bolanos's stinging low drive, before Oscar Duarte headed over from Ruiz's cross.

Moments later Costa Rica felt they should have had a penalty when Joel Campbell was brought down by Giorgio Chiellini inside the box, but the referee waved away their protests.

With a minute of the half left to play Costa Rica took the lead through Ruiz, who met Junior Diaz's cross at the back post to head the ball in off the underside of the bar.

Italy pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica at Arena Pernambuco on June 20, 2014
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