2014 FIFA World Cup: Italy vs Costa Rica - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Dattaraj Thaly
FULL TIME: Italy 0-1 Costa Rica
FOUR MINUTES OF TIME ADDED ON!
90' - Cerci takes the corner with his left foot. Cassano makes contact with the ball as he falls over and directs it wide of the post.
89' - Cerci wins a corner for Italy.
88' - Costa Rica's coach is barking instructions into his players. He does not want them to lose focus here. Not at this moment. 2 minutes to go.
86' - Four minutes plus added time to go for one of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Cup finals.
84' - Diaz's clearance turns out to be a wonderful ball for the striker who is one on one against Chiellini. The Italian was struggling but managed to block the forwards shot.
81' - Brenes comes on for captain and goalscorer Ruiz, who transfers his captain's band to the goalkeeper, Navas.
80' - Nothing from Italy so far. They have not managed to create anything despite four attackers on the field.
77'- Cassano chips a ball over the defense for Balotelli but Navas is quick off the blocks to collect the ball.
75'- Joel Campbell comes off for Marcos Urena. This is the second substitution for Costa Rica
72'- Italy have not tested Navas even once during the second half from open play.
70'- Italy make their third and final change. Marchisio comes off for Cerci. This is their 3rd attacking susbtitution. Italy going for broke.
68'- Tejedo comes off and on comes Cubero for Costa Rica. This is their first change.
65'- Costa Rican fans are buzzing inside the stadium. They are cheering on every pass. As things stand, Costa Rica will be the first team to qualify for the next round in the goup of death. Unbelievable.
62'- More of the same by Costa Rica. Gamboa and Bolanos have been immense. They look dangerous when in possession.
60'- We are at the 60 minute mark. Who would have predicted this? Costa Rica leading Italy and England headed out.
58'- Costa Rica have not once sat back in this half. What a brave set of player. They are going for the second goal.
Italy prepare to make another change. Candreva comes off for Insigne. Italy are now going for it.
55'- Italy are looking more lively and dangerous after the withdrawal of Motta for Cassano.
53'- PIRLO! Well saved by Navas off the master's free-kick.
51'- Darmian cuts on his right foot and lets one fly. The ball goes just over the crossbar. That was close.
50'- Costa Rica have adopted a fearless approach. They are not sititing back and protecting their lead.
48'- Long ball from the goalkeeper find Campbell in a one on one situation. But he is off-side.
46'- Here we go. Exciting 45 minutes ahead of us. England fans will be on the edge of their seats.
Italy make their first substitution. Cassano comes on for Motta. Attack minded change by Prandelli
The players have come out for the second half.
HALF TIME: Italy 1- 0 Costa Rica
Diaz with a corner with his left foot. Ruiz headed the ball, which bounced off the crossbar and went in. Goal line technology called in. Clear goal.
45'- GOAL! BRYAN RUIZ
43'- BIG DECISION! Campbell picked up a sloppy back pass from Darmian. Chiellini shakes the striker off the ball. Looked like a penalty. Costa Ricans are furious!
42'- The resulting corner is punched out by Buffon. Ruiz picks up the loose ball and delivers a tempting ball in the box which is headed just over the cross bar.
40'- Diaz puts in a low cross for Campbell. But Chiellini is very tight on him and tucks the ball out for a corner.
38'- Costa Rica move forward in numbers. Ruiz makes a poor choice of shooting instead of picking one of his teammates. Buffon won't be beaten from that distance.
35'- Bolanos tries his luck from distance. Buffon is stretched but he makes a good save to his left.
32'- CHANCE! Balotelli again. He vollyes a right footed shot straight into Navas. The goalkeeper spils but picks up the ball on his second attempt.
31'- WHAT A BALL! Of course by the master himself. Pirlo puts in a long ball for Balotelli who is thorugh on goal. Mario tries to lob the keeper but his execution is poor.
29' - Tejeda makes a crunching tackle on Balotelli. Who wenst down and stayed down. Clean tackle.
27'- Pirlo played in a lovely long ball into Balotelli who set up the ball for Motta to shoot. The Brazil born midfielder dragged his shot wide.
25'- Italy start from the back. The ball is fed into Balotelli again, who is in a good position. But the ref rules him off-side.
23'- Candreva put in a lovely long ball for Balotelli to chase down. Mario got to the ball and tried to shrug off his defender. Gonzalo was tough and pinched the ball of Balo and drew the foul.
21'- Both teams are being wasteful in possession. Several passing being intercepted by both teams. Costa Rica look more dangerous in possession than Italy so far.
19'- Corner for Costa Rica. Joel Campbell delivers it with his left foot. The ball is long. Duarte retrieves the ball and delivers a cross. The ball bangs into Cheillini, who goes down with impact.
17'- The Italians dont look as sharp as the they did against England. Some of their passing has been poor.
15'- Costa Rican corner came swirling in and was punched out of the danger zone by Buffon. Great delivery.
14'- Lovely passing play from Italy. Motta to Damian. back to Motta, who find Abate in space on the right flank. His ball to Abate is accurate but the right back is in an off-side position.
12'- The ball is being played in the middle of the park. Both teams are breaking down the passes of each other.
10' - Costa Rica have surely gained a lot of confidence from their win in the first match. They are quite comfortable against the Italians here.
8'- The resulting corner is met by Borges with a powerful header. Buffon was stranded. But the ball went over the crossbar.
7' - Tejeda busst into the Italina box only to have Barzagli boot out the ball for a corner.
5'- Diaz tries to lob the ball ober Abate and run past him. But the Italian fouls him.
4'- Candreva found Balotelli with a pass from the right. The tackle came flying in on Mario to take the ball away from him.
2'- Borgestries a long range effort after nice possession play from the Costa Ricans. But the shot lacked power.
1'- Here we go. Italy get us started.
Italy are in their tradional blue while Cosra Rica are in a all white strip.
The Italian bench is really fired up after the beautiful national anthem.
First up, the Italian national anthem. Followed by that of Costa Rica.
Players are walking out to the middle. Buffon leads Italy. Ruiz leads Costa Rica.
So far the big news before the match is that Gianluigi Buffon is back for Italy.
The line-ups for the match are here:
Italy: Buffon, Chiellini, Darmian, Motta, Candreva, Abate, Marchisio, Balotelli, Barzagli, De Rossi, Pirlo
Costa Rica: Navas, Umana, Duarte, Gonzalez, Gamboa, Diaz; Borges, Bolanos, Tejeda; Ruiz; Campbell.
Welcome to our coverage of the Group D encounter between Italy and Costa Rica at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife. This is the second match for both these teams in the group after having won their first matches. Italy beat England 2-1 and Costa Rica pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament by beating Uruguay 3-1.
A win for either team would guarantee a place in the Round of 16. If the match ends up in a draw, England will be headed out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Italy will start as the favorites for this match but after Costa Rica`s win in the first match, the Azzurri win is nowhere close to a foregone conclusion.
The Italians received a major boost as their captain and goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon returned to training and looks set to take his place between the posts for them in place of Sirigu. First choice left-back, Mattia De Sciglio may not feature in this match. There are no injury worries for the Costa Rican`s and they will in all likelihood play an unchanged team with an unchanged formation.
Joel Campbell will start as the lone striker up top for Costa Rica and they will look to use his pace and strength to make things difficult for the defense. Bryan Ruiz who had a good first game will look to split open the Italian defense with his precise passes.
For Costa Rica, the major threat would be the high on confidence, Mario Balotelli. The maverick striker scored the winning goal against England and will look to add to his tally at the tournament. Andrea Pirlo continues to be the best Italy`s best player and Costa Rica will have to stop him if they want to have any chance to control this game.