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World Cup 2014: Suarez incident mars Uruguay victory against ten-man Italy

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In a match laced with controversy, Uruguay booked their place in the round of 16 of the World Cup by beating Italy 1-0. An 81st minute header by defender Diego Godin capped off a heroic performance from the Atletico Madrid man, but the game will be remembered for other reasons.

The first half of the contest was a flat affair, with Uruguay struggling to keep any possession. While Italy had most of the ball, they failed to do anything meaningful with it.

Italian coach Cesare Prandelli had fielded both Mario Balotelli and Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile to add more attacking impetus, but both strikers failed to make a mark. Balotelli was close to his petulant worst during the game and was predictably booked, which led to Prandelli substituting him before the second half began.

The second half was by far the most controversial 45 minutes of the tournament. Italy were handed a massive disadvantage when Claudio Marchisio was given a straight red card for a studs up challenge. The decision by the referee was incredibly dubious, as many would disagree over whether it should be a straight red. Minutes later, Gianluigi Buffon made a potentially match saving block to deny Luis Suarez.

The Liverpool striker did not have the same impact in a footballing term that he did against England for most of this game. However, all the headlines will be revolved around his biting incident with Giorgio Chiellini. This was the third such incident for Suarez throughout his career, but the surprising part was that he wasn’t sent off for the action. The footballing gods provided more misfortune to Italy, as Diego Godin converted from the resulting corner.

It is sad to note that while this match should be talked about how well Uruguay have recovered in this tournament after that insipid display against Costa Rica, it will instead be focused on Luis Suarez’s petulance. Incidents like this put a dark shadow on the beautiful game.

Teams:

Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Matteo Darmian, Mattia de Sciglio, Marco Verratti (75’ for Thiago Motta), Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Ciro Immobile (71’ for Antonio Cassano), Mario Balotelli (46’ for Marco Parolo)

Uruguay: Fernando Muslera, Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Alvaro Pereira (63’ for Cristian Stuani), Alvaro Gonzalez, Arevalo Rios, Cristian Rodriguez (78’ for Gaston Ramirez), Nicolas Lodeiro (46’ for Maxi Pereira), Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez

Final Score: Italy 0-1 Uruguay (Godin 81’)