By Anna Italia
Follow me in Twitter @ItalianSerieA
2014 FIFA World Cup Group D
Italy making their debut in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Group D against England with a victory. Italy Head Coach Cesare Prandelli facing bad news as first goalkeeper and Captain Gianluigi Buffon sprained his ankle during training. Good news is that second goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu battled and defended Italy without conceding goals. Captain today is midfielder Andrea Pirlo. Great start for Italy and all Italian football fans embracing the team.
Wow, Mamma mia… I have goosebumps just watching our Azzurri making their entrance to the pitch….. time for the National Anthem… My heart beating so fast listening “Fratelli d’Italia….” closeup for each one of our players!!!! Balotelliii singing happily, Pirlo.. Sirigu… how I love my AzzurriiiiiiI!!!
Ok, guys, we are ready, Referee Bjorn Kuipers whistles the start of the game… let’s roll the ball.
Scary moment in the 4th minute!!!! England closer to the goal with midfielder Raheem Sterling from about 30 meters with a right footed shot challenging Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu and luckily missing the target to the right……
What a rollercoaster! Guys, in the 10th minute the fans at the Stadium raising their chant “Italia, Italia, Italia” encouraging the Azzurri! Just love it!
11th minute and I am having a nervous attack… hello, England again challenging Sirigu and so close!!!!! Midfielder Danny Welbeck with a right footed shot sending the wake up note to Italy…. uffaaa good, he misses to the left.
In the 18th minute…. a bim bam boom.. Italy closer to the goal with Antonio Candreva delivering a long range right footed shot challenging England goalkeeper Joe Hart who saves in the center! The assist is by forward Mario Balotelli. Gee… so close…… come on Italy!!!!!
Mamma miaaaaaaa hellooooooo Balotelli with a chance to score from long range in the 23rd minute. Though his right footed shot goes way too high to the right!!! good effort, and the assist is by midfielder Claudio Marchisio.
Oh nooooo panicking!!!!! In the 24th minute, England closer to the goal and thanks God we had defender Andrea Barzagli to clear danger ending for a corner!!!
In the 28th minute, Italy pressing and another right footed shot by Candreva… what a luck! No way…. the ball misses the target to the left…. come on guys, keep going! Just happy seeing Marco Verrati making the assist…. Forza Italia!!!!
JUMP!!!!! arty time!!!! Wave your Italian flags!!!! In the 35th minute, Italy opening the score with midfielder Claudio Marchisio taking time to accommodate the ball before his right footed shot defeating England goalkeeper Hart despite going to the right direction in the bottom left corner. The assist is by midfielder Andrea Pirlo!!!!! Forza Italia.
No way!!!!!!! Oh nooooo,,, just no way! England equalizing in the 37th minute…. Italy surprised during this moment when forward Wayne Rooney catches forward Daniel Sturridge alone in the area and defeating Italy goalkeeper Sirigu in the top right corner. Immediate celebration by Sturridge opening his arms while I am just devastated!!!!
Oh oh… wow, imagine how hot it is in Manaus! There is an emergency in the 40th minute …. as apparently an England staff is fainting??? leaving the field on stretcher.
Ok, guys, let’s keep our faith strong! In the 45th minute Italy pressing and seeing an inspired Candreva battling for the Azzurri.. Oh no, no way… guys, hello, Candreva’s left footed shot hitting the post!!!!!!!!!
First half ending 35% ball possession England and 65% ball possession Italy
Let’s see how it goes in the second half. We must see forward Mario Balotelli returning strong to take charge of the team….
We are back! Referee Kuipers whistling the start of the second half….. let’s keep pushing Italy bandwagon! Forza!
Oops!!! Bam! Italy goalkeeper Sirigu saving the left footed shot by Sturridge…. sending the ball away conceding a corner…. danger is cleared….
Say no more!!!! SUPER MARIO BALOTELLI!!!!!!! As I was saying, I wanted Balotelli to return stronger in the second half, and my prayers answered! Balotelli scoring in the 50th minute defeating England goalkeeper Hart with a headed shot in the bottom left corner!!!!!! I am jumping out of joy!!!!!! BALO BALO TELLI TELLI!!!!! I can just visualize Tiziano Crudelli from Diretta Stadio shouting this goal!!!!! Oh yeah… Balo, Balo. Telli, Telli…… wohoooooo
57th minute, Italy making the first substitution replacing midfielder Marco Verrati bringing now midfielder Thiago Motta.
woooooooo guys, Balotelli closer to the goal again in the 60th minute! Combo between Candreva – Balotelli…. oh gosh… Forza Italia, let’s keep pressing!
England making the first substitution in the 61st minute replacing midfielder Danny Welbeck with midfielder Ross Barkley.
UFFA!!! In the 64th minute Italy goalkeeper Sirigu challenged and forced to save Ross Barkley right footed shot in the bottom right corner!!! Hello and this guy just entered and already creating danger!
In the 66th minute, Italy goalkeeper Sirigu saving a shot following a corner conceded by Gabriel Paletta !!!! We are doing fine, guys, keep pushing Italy bandwagon!
In the 68th minute, chance for Italy with midfielder Thiago Motta giving the assist to Candreva … oh no,, oh well… Candreva misses his right footed shot to the right… good effort… the important is that we are seeing Italy battling moving forward…
Time running.. we have 20 more minutes to go!!!!!
Italy making second substitution in the 73rd minute replacing forward Mario Balotelli with forward Ciro Immobile. Balotelli is leaving the pitch among the ovation by the fans! Hold on, guys, allow me to stand up and also applaud Balotelli!!!!! Well done Balotelli
England also making a substitution in the 73rd minute replacing midfielder Jordan Henderson with midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Pray, pray!!! Forza Azzurrri……
Wake up call!!!! Goalkeeper Sirigu making a save in the 76th minute deviating the left footed shot by England defender Leighton Baines…
Italy making the last substitution in the 79th minute replacing midfielder Antonio Candreva with midfielder Marco Parolo.
Ten more minutes to go….. Forza Azzurri let’s go… come on….
England with a forced substitution in the 80th minute. Forward Daniel Sturridge cannot continue for injury and replaced by midfielder Adam Lallana.
Italy fans increasing their chants for the Azzurri……
Phewwwwwww in the 85th minute saved by the “air.” Yep… a free kick by England midfielder Stevan Gerrar sending his right footed shot a bit too high….
England again creating danger in the 87th minute but players seem getting tired… Wayne Rooney sending his left footed shot over the bar… .
Five minutes added time….. five more minutes, Forza Italia! resist!
First yellow card of the match in the 92nd minute is for England midfielder Raheem Sterling after a foul on Marco Parolo.
In the 93rd minute Andrea Pirlo with a right footed free kick hitting the bar!
Here is ITALY official starting lineup by head coach Cesare Prandelli:
ITALY (4-3-2-1): Salvatore Sirigu, Darmian, Andrea Barzagli, Paletta, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo, Marco Verratti, Antonio Candreva, Claudio Marchisio, Mario Balotelli
Here is ENGLAND official starting lineup by head coach Hodgson:
ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Welbeck, Rooney, Sterling, Sturridge.
- The only previous World Cup game between England and Italy happened in the 1990 third-place play-off with Italy winning 2-1.
- Stats in favor of Italy. Out of the 11 internationals games England have only won two against Italy, losing six plus the penalty shootout defeat at Euro 2012.
Click the video to watch the highlights of the game, England vs Italy, Saturday 14 June 2014, Arena Amazonia, Manaus, Brazil
England 1 – 2 Italy
Saturday 14 June 2014
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers
Assistants: Sander Van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra
Fourth official: Walter Lopez
Goals: 35′ Claudio Marchisio (I), 37′ Daniel Sturridge (E), 50′ Mario Balotelli (I)
Official Formations – Lineups: