Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: The Group of Death has lived up to its name and nobody would have expected the current situation coming.
England are out and Italy or Uruguay could be the next to see the end of their run in Brazil. Of course, Costa Rica are through after a gritty 1-0 win against the 2006 champions Italy on Friday.
Italy: The four time world champions were ousted in the first round at the 2010 World Cup. This time they may repeat the same story. Italy got off to a big start in Brazil after beating England in their opening encounter. They were expected to see Costa Rica off and were also touted to make the passage to the next round as Group leaders. But for now the tale looks to have taken a different direction. Shabby on the attack and lack of threat in the midfield saw them lose to Costa Rica. It`s a result that coach Cesare Prandelli will rue the most as he faces a do or die battle against Uruguay on Tuesday.
Italy need to beat Uruguay and will expect Costa Rica to lose against England and then the goal difference will come into consideration. A superiority in the sticky situation could then see them go as toppers.
Uruguay: The South American giant`s victory over England couldn`t have come at a better time. Thanks to Liverpool talisman Luis Suarez. He made Uruguay look a different prospect altogether by handing England a choking blow after netting in a stunning brace.
Earlier, Uruguay lacked the space and good run-ins in attack without Luis Suarez in their loss against Costa Rica. Now that they have him it signals a big threat to Italy. Suarez can single handedly see Uruguay through to the next stage in Italy`s expense. Uruguay, who were the 2010 semi-finalists, will hope to celebrate Suarez`s return in another emphatic way.
Costa Rica`s win against Uruguay was no fluke. Their win against Italy after that made them show their presence in the Group of Death as the weakest team, a joke. Given their form they go in as the favourites against England and a win against the Three Lions could see them as Group toppers.
Before the tournament started nobody would have thought the situation this Group has unfolded.
Italy, Uruguay and England were considered the run-away favourites and now with Costa Rica`s resurgence, two big teams are packed off in the early stages. After England`s horrific defensive show that triumphed in their downfall, Italy and Uruguay will enter the battle field knowing the what will follow next.
But thanks to Costa Rica to open up this Group and promise an intense showdown between Italy and Uruguay - the two giants of world football.