A game filled with controversy from the start to the finish ends with a powerful header to give Uruguay a 1-0 victory over the Italians.
Byline: Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
NATAL– Uruguayan defender Diego Godín header would be the goal that sunk the Italian ship, and sent La Celeste to the round of 16 on Tuesday afternoon.
“Luckily I’ve been able to score some big goals this year,” Godín told FIFA.com. “But I always say that you do your best for the team and that team supports you in what you do. The work rate at both Atletico and here is amazing.”
His game winning goal at the 81 minute will be the biggest goal of his career yet. Uruguay needed to win this match, a draw would not cut, they needed the victory to advance to the next round. However, the Italians only needed draw and they came within nine minutes of getting to the next round.
This match was filled with more hard hitting then opportunities to score, and there was some biting as well. This match had over 23 fouls and only six shots on target combined.
In the first half, Italian forward Mario Balotelli went for a ball in the air, but he went into the tackle recklessly and kicked the Uruguayan on his back. He received a yellow card at the 22 minute of the match, and if Italy would advance he would miss the next game due to accumulations of yellow cards.
The Italian Coach Cesare Prandelli would be forced to take out his superstar forward Super Mario at halftime, in a fear of the AC Milan forward getting a red card before the match ended and leaving Italy down a man. However, his risky decision would prove to not work. Fourteen minutes into the second half Italy would go down a man, when midfielder Claudio Marchisio hit a Celeste player with his studs on his calf.
The referee was standing right in front of the whole incident when it happen, and the ref automatically blew the whistle and gave Marchisio a direct red card. After that incident the Italians began to retreat back and defend, and Uruguay kept on pushing back the Azzurri.
Though right before the goal for Uruguay came, forward Luis Suarez intentionally bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder. Chiellini ran to the ref to show him the bite marks on his shoulder, and the troubled Liverpool forward got away without a card. Even though this was the third incident of him biting someone during game within six years, the referee did not give Suarez a card.
A missed call that could of even the playing field, the Celeste would punish the Azzurri with the wining goal two minutes after Suarez incident. A corner kick taken by Uruguayan midfielder Gastón Ramírez, he sent a direct fast ball to the center of the penalty box. Godín would be there to pounce on the ball and head the ball into the back of the net and give Uruguay the 1-0 victory at the 81 minute.
“We managed to adapt to the situation when (Claudio) Marchisio was sent off,” Uruguayan Coach Oscar Tabarez told FIFA.com after the match. “We tried to spend more time in their half. Luckily for us, it paid off.”
Uruguay because of Godín game wining goal will now play against Colombia on Saturday, June 28 at the Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. As for the Italians, they will be heading disappointed that they could not hold on for the draw with such little time left. The Azzurri finish in third place with three points and a negative one goal differential, and now without a coach since Prandelli resigned the very next day.
Highlights to this match can be seen on this link http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=intl:1909142, video provided by ESPN FC.