Balotelli’s Header Lifts Italy Past England
(MANAUS, Brazil) -- Mario Balotelli headed in a cross from Candreva in the 50th minute, giving Italy a 2-1 lead as they would go on to defeat Englad by that score in Group D play at the World Cup. England outshot the Italians 18-12 but the defense lapsed in their loss.
The Azzuri took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute as Claudio Marchiso corralled a volley from Andrea Pirlo before making a couple nifty moves to take the early advantage. England quickly responded with an equalizer from Daniel Sutrridge less than three minutes later.
Sturrdige post began and finished the scoring chance, sending a cross nearly 40 yards to open up the defense. Wayne Rooney settled the bar, before delivering it back to Sturridge who connected on his shot.
The match went into halftime tied at 1-1, but that did not last long. Five minutes into the second frame Balotelli got loose on the backline and was rewarded with his first goal of the tournament. Much was made of the absence of Gianluigi Buffon, the Italian goalkeeper, who sat with an ankle injury. His replacement was more than capable as Salvatore Sirigu made four saves in the win.
Italy will take on Costa Rica on Friday while England resumes Group play on Thursday when they take on Uruguay.
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