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FIFA World Cup 2014

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World Cup 2014: England v Italy live blog

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Italy's Gabriel Paletta fights for the ball with England's Danny Welbeck.

Italy's Gabriel Paletta fights for the ball with England's Danny Welbeck. Photo: Reuters

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We'll leave the last word with Seb Hassett in Brazil:

 

JIM MORRISON: Great result for Italy. England face an uphill battle though and their match against Uruguay will define their World Cup. Lose and they're gone. They need a hero  - a Sterling or a Welbeck, someone to stand up and make a name for themselves in the way Michael Owen did in 1998. Interesting times for sure.

I'm off to stretch the legs before Japan-Ivory Coast, then it's into the office to put out the SMH sprint edition. Hope you've enjoyed the blog - stay tuned to our World Cup site for all the latest news from our boys in Brazil.

Signing off....

 

England captian Steven Gerrard: "It shows how cruel this game is, that you can try so hard and still come away with nothing. It's always going to be tough playing against Italy. It was warm and sticky out there and the pitch was moving under foot, but those are just excuses at the end of the day. We fell a bit short but we're still not out of this group." 

ITALY 2 ENGLAND 1. That's fulltime. 

93 mins: Pirlo so nearly ices the cake, pinging a 25-yard free-kick off the bar. Italy have been really impressive here, too early to predict how far they can go but they'll be thereabouts. 

89 mins: Sterling desperately trying to manufacture something but the writing is on the wall here. England's trip down the Amazon and deep into the jungle has taken on a 'Heart of Darkness' feel to it.

 

84 mins: Gerrard wafts a free-kick over the bar. Bad result for England in more ways than one if the score stays the same - this match will have taken plenty out of their tanks and they face a Uruguay side next up who are fighting for their World Cup future after that shock 3-1 pumping at the hands of Costa Rica this morning.

83 minutes: I'm logging off. This is going nowhere. I'm calling it: 2-1 Italy. Thankyou.

81 mins: Fatigue is getting the better of the England players as the cross from Gerrard balloons over the bar. They look out on their feet here, we are in for a very long last 10 minutes. Can someone conjure a bit of magic? Someone? Something?

78 mins: Missed it earlier but Balotelli has departed and replaced by the wonderfully named Ciro Immobile. Despite his surname, Ciro is anything but immobile - he was Serie A's top scorer last season with 22 goals for Torino.

76 mins: Free-kick from Leighton Baynes beats the wall but is beaten away by Sirigu. Leighton Baynes - surely the best Leighton since Scotland goalkeeper Jim.

73 mins: We're into the last 20 minutes here and the tempo has slowed again. Italy in their element here - you'd have to fancy them now given their defensive ability and the toll the heat has extracted on England's players. The score is still Italy 2 England 1

A reminder that we've got the mouthwatering prospect of Japan versus the Ivory Coast up at 11am this morning. If you are unlucky enough to be working or otherwise unable to get to a TV, you can follow the action here at our live match centre.

Super Mario: Balotelli heads past Joe Hart to give Italy the lead.

Super Mario: Balotelli heads past Joe Hart to give Italy the lead. Photo: Reuters

66 mins: High-quality game this, has been a very open contest - the opposite of my pre-game prediction. No surprises there then. You feel there is still a goal left in this game.

63 mins: Another good attack comes to nothing for England, the sub Ross Barclay forcing a good save from Salvatore Sirigu. And now Sterling is down with cramp as the energy-sapping conditions start to take their toll.

61 mins: Rooney millimetres away with a snap shot... found acres of space inside the box and beat the goalkeeper easily, but the ball just went the wrong side of the post. It's not over yet...

 

Let's put it to the vote: Can England get something out of this match?

Poll: Can England find an equaliser or will Italy be too good?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
England's young guns will find something

26%

Italy will close it out, no problem

65%

The refs will help England - like they did in 1966

9%

Total votes: 80.

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Poll closed 15 Jun, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

55mins: Now, can England hit back again? There's plenty of time left, but this situation will suit Italy down to the ground. Don't expect to see much more of them as an attacking force, they are more likely to sit back and soak up English pressure. Reasonable penalty shout there as Steven Gerrard goes down in the box, but the ref waves play-on....

Here's my very amateur recording of Balotelli's goal:

 

50 mins: GOAL! Italy 2-1, Balotelli the scorer. Perfectly weighted cross to the back post and made no mistake with the header.

Fairfax operative and Italy diehard Paul Zalunardo is glued to his couch after a 14-hour Sun-Herald shift yesterday and offers up this analysis:

"What a great first half. Pirlo's mastery, Sterling's speed. This game has it all. Both sides look suspect in defence. That usually means an exciting match. If the second 45 minutes are as good, we're in for a treat."

It's being reported that England Physio Gary Lewin has dislocated his ankle in that post-goal celebration. That's a sore one...

 

Leveller: Daniel Sturridge guide's Wayne Rooney's cross into the net.

Leveller: Daniel Sturridge guide's Wayne Rooney's cross into the net. Photo: AP

But the news you've all been waiting for: With a whopping 54% of votes, New Order's World in Motion has been crowned England's best World Cup song. Here it is you lucky people - keep an eye out for Chris Waddle's uber-mullet and John Barnes' timeless rap.

 

Italy finish the first half strongly, first Balotelli's insouciant chip being cleared off the line and then, in the resulting melee, the Italians hit the post - couldn't see who hit the shot. But a dramatic half of football - as the old adage goes, you're never more vulnerable than when you've just scored, and so it proved with England hitting back immediately after Marchisio's opening goal. Halftime score: 1-1

Opener: Joe Hart fails to reach Marchisio's shot.

Opener: Joe Hart fails to reach Marchisio's shot. Photo: Reuters

More Twitter gold as the first half heads to a close...

 

It really is all happening here - England's physio, Gary Lewin, has needed medical treatment and been helped away from the touchline after appearing to injure his ankle while celebrating England's equaliser. Dramatic scenes 

Here's Marchisio's opener:

 

36 mins: GOAL! 1-1! Daniel Sturridge equalises for England, tapping home from Rooney's perfect cross after a lightning break. It's all happening here.

34 mins: GOAL! Italy 1-0 up after Marchisio fires home from 25 metres. Game on.

32 mins: And Balotelli fails to find the target with a header from close range.... Italy's best chance so far.

30 mins: The pace has dropped somewhat as we reach the half-hour mark, the Amazonian humidity perhaps starting to take its toll. Without stating the bleeding obvious, the longer this one stays 0-0 the more chance we have of finishing up with a draw...

BREAKING: You love New Order. Barney Sumner, Hooky and the Italia 90 squad well in front in the battle of the World Cup songs.

25 min: England are pressing hard here, two corners ultimately come to nothing but Sturridge was a fraction away from opening the scoring with a deflected effort after a quick break by Welbeck. Still 0-0 though...

Close shave: That's how near Raheem Sterling came to opening the scoring.

Close shave: That's how near Raheem Sterling came to opening the scoring. Photo: Reuters

As we've touched on, this is an England side light on big names compared to World Cups gone by - feel free to check out this cool interactive guide created by our technical wizards to acquaint yourself with the players from England and indeed every World Cup squad.

13 mins: High quality game this, lively opening from both sides with England's front men looking keen. No goals as yet, Sterling's long-range effort still the closest we've come.

Close call: Italy's Salvatore Sirigu dives as he watches a shot by England's Raheem Sterling hit the side netting.

Close call: Italy's Salvatore Sirigu dives as he watches a shot by England's Raheem Sterling hit the side netting. Photo: Reuters

Our man in the Matto Grosso, Michael Lynch, has filed this piece throwing-forward to the Socceroos' must-win (snigger) clash against the Netherlands on Thursday.

Do yourselves a favour: Read this, take note and become a better man:

4 mins: Wow.... Sterling shoots into the side netting from 25 metres out... fooled a few people in the crowd who thought he'd rippled the net. That's an indicator of what the young bloke can do...

We're under way in Manaus, and you have to say the army of spray-painters drafted in to make the pitch look anywhere near acceptable have done a fine job.

No Buffon for the Italians - the keeper failing to recover from a sprained ankle.

 

Team line-ups:

 

Don't forget to cast your vote in our poll:

Poll: England's best World Cup/Euro Championship song?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Back Home (1970 World Cup squad)

0%

World in Motion (New Order, 1990)

53%

Three Lions (Skinner, Baddiel & Lightning Seeds, 1996)

28%

England's Irie (Black Grape, Joe Strummer & Keith Allen, 1996)

3%

World Cup Willie (Lonnie Donegan, 1966)

16%

Total votes: 35.

Would you like to vote?

You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.

Poll closed 15 Jun, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Great anthems. First blood to Italy on that front.

But back to Manaus, and the exciting news is that Liverpool's young gun Raheem Sterling will start the game for England. Adam Lallana misses out.

Here are some highlights from Colombia's big win. This World Cup has been a great on for the neutral so far, with 22 goals scored over the first six games at an average of 3.66 per game. 

Columbia thrash Greece 3-nil (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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World Cup: Colombia thrash Greece

Colombia has clinched its best ever result at a World Cup, beating Greece 3-0.

PT0M57S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3a537 620 349

If you're just stumbling, bleary-eyed, from your post Saturday night slumber, then the big overnight news is that lowly Costa Rica have pulled off a shock in the opening game of Group D (much as they did against my beloved Scotland back in 1990), defeating a Luis Suarez-less Uruguay 3-1. 

In the group C game, Columbia pumped Greece 3-0.

 

Ok, crude analysis out of the way, lets get on with the business at hand. No country does World Cup/football songs as well as England, so let’s put it to the vote. We’ll give the winner a run in the half-time interval.

 

 

Poll: England's best World Cup/Euro Championship song?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Back Home (1970 World Cup squad)

0%

World in Motion (New Order, 1990)

53%

Three Lions (Skinner, Baddiel & Lightning Seeds, 1996)

28%

England's Irie (Black Grape, Joe Strummer & Keith Allen, 1996)

3%

World Cup Willie (Lonnie Donegan, 1966)

16%

Total votes: 35.

Would you like to vote?

You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.

Poll closed 15 Jun, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

JIM MORRISON: The Pirlo factor - and not this blogger’s Scottish heritage - has us leaning towards the Italians for this one, although the bookies’ odds suggest it is anyone’s game. The smart money may indeed be on the draw, as both sides would probably settle for a point right now with winnable games against Uruguay and Costa Rica to come.

The stifling conditions are likely to result in a slow tempo, which will suit the Italians - the masters of possession football and the keepers of the Catenaccio tradition. England will need to be well organised, to keep their discipline and shape and hit with pace on the break when the ball is played to their forward men. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge will fancy their chances given a bit of space on the counter attack.

What we need is England to score first. The Italians love nothing better than to jag an early goal then sit back and strangle the life out of the game.

Roy Hodgson’s youthful and - unusually for an England team - under-hyped side is pitted against Cesare Prandelli’s Azzurri, who will look to the mercurial talents of ‘Super’ Mario Balotelli and the indefatigable Andrea Pirlo.

 

 

Big guns: Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pirlo.

Big guns: Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pirlo. Photo: Reuters

JIM MORRISON: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right this way for Fairfax Media’s live blog of the group D opener between England and Italy. We’re taking you to the steamy Arena Amazonia in Manaus, the ‘Heart of the Amazon’, via this blogger’s chilly front room in Marrickville thanks to the miracles of cable television, wireless internet and electricity.