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Mario Balotelli goal gives Italy 2-1 win over England

06/14/2014, 8:04pm EDT
Italy tops England 2-1 in World Cup

Italy's Mario Balotelli, left, gets in a shot as England's Phil Jagielka, center, and Jordan Henderson, right, defend. Italy topped England 2-1 in Group D of the World Cup. ASSOCIATED PRESS

MANAUS, Brazil — Mario Balotelli scored with a second-half header today to give Italy a 2-1 win over England at the World Cup.

The Italy striker was left unmarked by Gary Cahill and nodded a cross from Antonio Candreva past goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 50th minute.

Claudio Marchisio opened the scoring for Italy, sending a long shot through a crowded area and past a diving Hart in the 35th. Daniel Sturridge equalized for England two minutes later, tapping in a cross from Wayne Rooney.

The win puts Italy in a strong position to qualify for the second round, and leaves England with plenty to do in its remaining two matches.

In the other Group D match, Costa Rica beat Uruguay 3-1, leaving the 2010 semifinalists with a similarly difficult task to advance.

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Tag(s): Pro