Italy were taken down by Costa Rica as the Europeans were defeated 1 – 0 at Arena Pernambuco in Recife Friday, eliminating England from Group D.
Italy and Costa Rica are both in a tie in Group D, which will be decided by the next match against Uruguay next week. Italy has to win the match or gain an advantage in terms of goal difference if they are to advance to the next round of the tournament.
Costa Rica constantly pressured the Europeans all throughout the match, leaving the Italian team hopeless as they “suffered from poor passing, lack of imagination and simply a lack of will,” as described by The New York Times.
Italy almost took the lead when Mario Balotelli attempted to score a goal on the 30 – minute mark of the match, but misses as the ball was far off from the target.
Italy suffered from many offsides throughout the game (11) despite owing a higher possession rate in the match (about 58%), but suffered greatly as the Costa Ricans dominated them through pressure and planned assaults.
Costa Rica team captain Bryan Ruiz decides the fate of the match as he buries a header through Junior Diaz’ cross on the 44 – minute mark of the match, leading the team 1 – 0.
Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto comments in BBC Sports: “The people of Costa Rica deserve it. This is for them. We controlled the game. It was as I expected it. We’ve beaten a great team.”
“We gave our all. They did well to block every pass,” said. “There’s no worry now. We just need to regain our energy,” Italian coach Cesare Prandelli comments in CBC Sports.
Italy and Uruguay will meet at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal on Tuesday June 24, deciding Costa Rica’s fate in the tournament. Since both teams are on a tie in Group D, Italy has to demolish Uruguay if they are to advance.