Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup 2014 : Italy vs Uruguay 0-1

It was the decider match in the Group of Death, with the winner moving to knock out stage. In fact Italy, on better goal average needed a draw while Uruguay needed a win. Both teams knew, that if Costa Rica loses to England in the other match of the group, the top spot was up from grabs on goal difference.
The first half as expected, was a dull affair with both team playing cautious football, though Italians enjoyed better possession. Both teams are known to crowd the defense & go on sudden counter physical & try to unnerve the opposition.... so both team looked circumspect & free flowing football was certainly missing.
Second half too started in similar fashion, but the game started to get out of hands, as Claudio Marchisio was red carded for challenging Giminez.... a rather harsh call by the ref. But, it got Italians to 10 men & now they had to dourly defend, while Uruguay spurted into action & looked like getting some territorial advantage. Suarez, Cavani, substitute Stuani, all pressed for that all important goal, as Italians started play acting tactics to delay the game. The game was quite ungainly, & in an ugly incident around the Italian box in the 79th minute Suarez & Chiellini collided going for the ball & then Suarez head butted or maybe dug into the Italian's shoulder....Chiellini fell on the ground & then got up to pull down his jersey to show marks on his shoulder,claiming that he was bitten by Suarez !!!..... but the ref did not pay heed & continued the game......minutes, later, the Italian defence came under heavy pressure, & from a corner kick, the Uruguayan skipper, Diego Godin, headed in past Buffon for the lone goal of the match. Italy tried hard to equalise, but could not make dent & the match ended, with former champions Italy going out of the finals for the second consecutive time in the group stages. Another European giant had crashed out, in a match marred by the biting controversy. Pirlo tried hard, but the ageing star could not create any magical moment. Balotelli was poor & substituted, & Motta, Cassano & others could not convert half chances....the team looked tired & unimaginative. The Group of Death had indeed devoured two former champions & formidable teams in the World....Italy & England. Costa Rica were the surprise toppers, with Uruguay just about scraping through.
I would believe, FIFA would be doing a thorough inspection of the incident & Suarez looks certain to be suspended.....he has been penalised twice earlier in his career, & if found guilty, he should be severely punished.
Uruguay moves to the next round & will face the winners of Group C, which in all probabilities be Columbia, another Latin American team. With Suarez most definitely out with suspension & Forlan injured, Uruguay might find it extremely tough to go beyond....