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Godin’s header sends Uruguay through, knocks 10-man Italy out of World Cup

Jun 24, 2014, 1:59 PM EDT

Italy v Uruguay: Group D - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Getty Images

Diego Godin‘s late header sealed a 1-0 win for Uruguay that put them in the last 16 of the World Cup, as four-time champions Italy crashed out at the group stage for the second-straight tournament.

For large periods both teams failed to get going, but Godin’s late header grabbed the three points which made sure Uruguay finished second in Group D behind winners Costa Rica who drew with England.

[ RELATED: PHOTO – Suarez bites Chiellini ]

Controversy marred the second half of the match, as Claudio Marchisio was sent off for a lunging tackle and the Italian side were reduced to 10-men. That made all the difference as Uruguay piled on the pressure but more controversy arrived just before Godin’s game-winner, as Luis Suarez inexplicably looked to have bit Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder. More on that to follow.

Godin’s winner then arrived as the Atletico Madrid defender followed up his La Liga winning and UEFA Champions League final goals by netting another crucial strike to send La Celeste through.

He was the hero as Uruguay is in the knockout stages but we will certainly hear more about Suarez’s incident as the fallout continues.

[ RELATED: Prandelli quits as Italy crash out ]

It was, as expected, a tense start in Natal as both Mario Balotelli and Suarez were the subject of touch tackles early on. The first real effort on target came from a trademark Andrea Pirlo free kick which dipped and swerved just under the bar and troubled Uruguayan ‘keeper Muslera enough to make him palm it over for a corner.

As the first half wore on Suarez and Cavani grew into the match and the Italian defense struggled to keep the combative duo under wraps. The latter went down in the box under a challenge midway through the first half but Uruguay’s penalty appeals were waved away as the tentative opening continued.

Balotelli was then cautioned for a high challenge as the Italian forward showed his frustration and would walk a tight-rope for the rest of the game.

Uruguay started to push for the opening goal they craved and Suarez found some space in the box but Gianluigi Buffon smothered his effort and also blocked Nicolas Lodeiro’s follow up with a fine double-save. For the rest of the first half both sides continued with the tough-tackling and staunch defensive play as Suarez and co. had 45 minutes to save their World Cup aspirations.

[ RESULTS: Rodriguez carries Colombia | Greece shocks Ivory Coast | Costa Rica clinches Group D ]
[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ]

At half time both teams made changes, as Balotelli was replaced by Marco Parolo as the eccentric frontman looked injured but was also risking a red card after several confrontations with Uruguayan players. Maxi Pereira replaced Lodeiro at the break for Uruguay as both managers tried to shake things up with a last 16 place on the line.

Suarez tried to get things going as he clipped a ball through to Rodriguez but the left winger dragged his effort wide of the far post. Then the entire game turned on its head as Marchisio was sent off for a lunging tackle on Arevalo and Italy were reduced to 10-men. The tackle was right in front of referee Marco Rodriguez and he had no hesitation in dishing out a straight-red.

Uruguay smelt blood in the water.

Italy’s defense dug deep and Buffon used all his experience to make a terrific save from Suarez as the predatory striker ran clean through on goal but the Juventus ‘keeper pushed his effort wide. The Uruguayans kept pushing hard for the goal which would send them into the knockout stages and that finally came as Godin headed home from Gaston Ramriez’s corner in the 82nd minute to break Italian hearts.


Italy: Buffon, De Sciglio, Chiellini, Darmian, Marchisio, Balotelli (Parolo, 45′), Barzagli, Immobile (Cassano, 70′), Bonucci, Pirlo, Verratti (Motta, 75′)

Red Card: Marchisio (60′)

Uruguay: Muslera, Godin, M. Pereira (Stuani, 62′), Rodriguez (Ramirez, 77′), Suarez, Gimenez, Lodeiro (A. Pereira, 45′), Arevalo, Gonzalez, Cavani, Caceres

Goal: Godin (82′)

  1. mazblast - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Just what the Italians need, more grist for the mill. Heads will roll over this failure, especially since all they needed today was a draw.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Italy deserve to lose all the time in every tournament since they only ever play for the draw or for penalties.

      • fpstratton - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        I agree that, too often, the Azzurri play much too close to the vest, and it hurt them here, because they had the horses to beat Uruguay. Let the U.S. take notice for their game against Germany: play to your strengths, and play to win! If the United States win the game, they win the group….it’s that simple. A draw would be all right, but if they play to tie, they will definitely lose.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        balotelli was a breath of fresh air, but they sat him down in the match as well.. he must have been injured or something, cuz he was one of the few guys who was consistently dangerous… why Italy doesn’t play an artistic style I don’t understand…

  2. hendy64 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    “Claudio Marchisio was sent off for a lunging tackle “. He reached over the ball and kicked the player in the calf. I’m not sure which foul this was, but it must have been the second because it is not any of the other rules:
    A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:

    -serious foul play
    -violent conduct
    -spitting at an opponent or any other person
    -denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
    -denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
    -using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

    A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.

  3. the0verheadwire - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    First, Godin should have been sent off for a tackle on a break by Sturridge in the last game. Second, Suarez should get a year ban from all competition for that stupidity, and third, never play for the draw.

  4. wanderingglutton - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    How could Cavani not get a yellow card for his rugby tackle as he was trying to waste time at the end of the match? He actually grabbed the Italian player and pulled him to the ground. The ref waved for the Italian to get up. Wow!

  5. handsofsweed - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I get that the bite would have been hard to see in order to pull a red card out, but there is no reason that the ref missed the effing HEAD BUTT Suarez put on Chiellini BEFORE biting him. Add that to the idiot pulling out the wrong color of card on Marchisio, and Italy was completely screwed today.

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