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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Balotelli takes Italy past England

PHOTOS: Balotelli takes Italy past England

June 15, 2014 05:25 IST

PHOTOS: Balotelli takes Italy past England

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Italy opened their campaign with an emphatic 2-1 win over England in their Group D match in the Amazon city of Manaus on Saturday.

It was the Azzurri's 10th win over the Lions in 25 meetings.

Mario Balotelli scored the all important goal early in the second half.

Antonio Candreva, the top scorer for Lazio this season (12 goals), provided the cross for the Milan striker to head home. 

Balotelli, Italy's top scorer in the qualifiers, had almost put Italy ahead on the stroke of half-time but Phil Jagielka came to England's rescue, clearing the former's lob off the line.

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Image: Mario Balotelli of Italy celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against England
Photographs: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

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Marchisio fired Italy ahead on 35 minutes

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Claudio Marchisio fired Italy ahead on 35 minutes after Andrea Pirlo deceived England’s entire defence with an ingenious dummy from a short corner and left the midfielder with time and space to unleash a scorcher from 25 metres into Joe Hart’s bottom right corner.

It's a Pirlo masterclass all the way.

However, it helped Marchisio earn what was only his fourth international goal.

The Juventus star was albeit substituted in the second half.

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Image: Claudio Marchisio of Italy celebrates scoring his team's first goal against England
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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Sturridge put England on level terms before the break

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England replied almost instantly as Raheem Sterling released Wayne Rooney on the left wing and he delivered a perfect cross for Daniel Sturridge to drill in a close-range half-volley past Italy keeper Salvatore Sirigu, standing in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon.

Rooney albeit missed an opportunity to score his first World Cup goal.

Sturridge, one of the stars for Liverpool in a campaign that saw them finish second behind Manchester City in the Premier League, ensured England were level after an action-packed first half.

However, in the final analysis it wasn't enough. 


Image: Daniel Sturridge of England (second right) celebrates scoring the equaliser with Jordan Henderson (left), Danny Welbeck (second left), Raheem Sterling (centre) and Wayne Rooney (right)
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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