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Balotelli's header secures Group D win for Azzurri

CCTV.com

06-15-2014 13:51 BJT

Full coverage: World Cup 2014

Italy got the better of England for the second major championship running. The Euro 2012 runners up showed their credetials as potential winners as they beat the three lions 2-1 in Manaus.

Mario Balotelli with the winning goal in a match, that like all of them so far at the world cup, was full of free flowing entertaining football.

The match would begin in the searing heat and humidity of Manaus. Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon was replaced by Salvatore Sirigu due to injury, and Andrea Pirlo would serve as captain for the match. He spent much of it just strolling around the pitch showing his class.

Hodgson’s England featured a young team, he sprung somethign of a surprise by including liverpool's Raheem Sterling from the start.His effort is just wide off the target.

Then it’s Italy who take the lead in the 35th minute after a cleverly worked corner. Claudio Marchisio hammers home a 25-metre shot. The Italians grab control with a 1-0 edge.

Cesare Prandelli’s team seeing a chance to pick up their first World Cup win in four games, as they drew two and lost one of their 2010 matches.

Andrea Pirlo lets the ball run under his boot, and Marchisio has plenty of time to libe up the shot. Italy, ending England’s previous tournament at the quarter-final stage of Euro 2012, would again prove better against the Three Lions.

England, however, would recover two minutes later. Sterling sends Wayne Rooney away and his curling cross is turned in by Daniel Sturridge to make it 1-1.

A quick response from the 2966 winers who manged to get to half time with the scores level at 1-1. But Italy would grab the winner in the 50th minute, as Antonio Candreva given space fantastic cross and Mario Balotelli heads in from close range at the far post. The Italians then hold on for the 2-1 victory.

"It had been a classic example of the Italian way of playing. Italy suffer, they always suffer but the important thing is to win. Now we have to keep our feet on the ground and just focus on each game that comes." Mario Balotelli said.

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