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Uruguay bites Italy

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

NATAL, Brazil, AFP - Uruguay have kept their World Cup dream alive with a 1-0 win over Italy in Natal that has sent the four-time champions crashing out of the competition.

Diego Godin scored the winning goal nine minutes from time against Italy, for whom Claudio Marchisio was sent off, to take second place in Group D behind Costa Rica, who secured top spot with a 0-0 draw against England.

In a fractious and bad-tempered match, Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini accused Uruguay striker Luis Suarez of biting him on the shoulder.

The first-half was instantly forgettable although Gianluigi Buffon made a brilliant double save, first coming out to block Suarez's effort from a tight angle and then jumping up to produce a stunning one-handed block to deny Nicolas Lodeiro.

The first-half was notable more for fraying tempers and play-acting.

Italy's centre-back Chiellini was twice guilty of rolling around on the floor clutching his face for no obvious reason.

Italy, who would have gone through with a draw, suffered a crucial blow when Marchisio was shown a straight red for stamping down on Egidio Arevalo's shin.

Uruguay started to turn the screw and Buffon made another brilliant one-handed stop to deny Suarez 24 minutes from time.

Chiellini and Suarez then both flopped to the ground holding their faces after a coming together, after which the Italian defender pulled his shirt off his shoulder to show the referee, believing he was Suarez's latest bite victim.

But then Godin had the last word, heading home a corner as Italy crashed out for the second finals in a row in the group stages.





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