0 vs. 1
Full time. A totally deserved win for Costa Rica, who are through to the knockout stages.
Brenes tries to bend a shot into the top corner, and it is just feet wide. Still, nice for something to happen.
Four minutes of stoppage time to come. Urena tumbles in the box under the attention of Barzagli as he chases a 1-2, but the referee awards nothing.
Italy win a corner on the left. Cerci takes, it comes to Cassano, and as he falls he sends the ball well wide.
Looking forward to Germany - Brazil in the final, then.
Cerci is ruled offside. At a rough estimate that is the billionth time an Italian player was ruled offside.
A ribald joke for you.
Urena gets to a high ball over the top, he jinks inside towards the goal, and Chiellini comes around to block his shot.
Insigne has a volley from inside the D, and it's about 40 yards over.
Costa Rica Substitution
Ruiz comes off, to be replaced by Brenes.
Some good defending from Diaz on the left wing frustrates Abate and Costa Rica have a goal kick. The defending has been excellent so far.
Urena is dispossed in the box and Pirlo starts an attack. Cassano hits a ball over the top for Balotelli, but Navas has it.
Still, nothing has happend since this moment.
Costa Rica Substitution
Campbell is replaced by Urena.
Cubero is booked for timewasting.
A high ball from Navas goes all the way through to Buffon.
Marchisio comes off, Cerci comes on.
Italy Substitution
Italy Yellow card


Costa Rica

Balotelli is booked for lashing out at a defender off the ball.
View image on Twitter

STEVIE-NG (NO GRADE): Steven Gerrard so bad v Uruguay that Spanish paper didn't even rate him https://t.co/KHNmy1oWvL http://t.co/gWFVlXG4fB

Costa Rica Substitution
Change for Costa Rica as Tejeda is off, and Cubero commes on.
Some interesting #tactical news ahead of the next game.

French journalists here in Salvador saying Giroud starts ahead of Griezmann. Benzema shifts left. Moussa Sissoko in for Pogba in midfield.

Given Costa Rica are playing intelligently with the squad at their disposal, is it just that England aren't clever enough to play it by themselves?
Marchisio loses his rage after a rough challenge in midfield. Cassano has a shot on goal that's deflected, and as a result it loses all its pace and is easily stopped. Not long left for Italy to get going.
Abate fouls Bolanos as he shields the ball.
Brilliant skill of Bolanos evades a challenge on the left from De Rossi, and then the move breaks down.
Candreva off, Insigne on.
Italy Substitution
Italy are calmly keeping the ball but doing litte with it. De Rossi angles a ball towards Balotelli, who uses strength to bounce his marker off him, but he's offside.
Some pessimism from fun-loving freelancer Nick Miller. Insigne is warming up.

Disappointing if England beat Costa Rica now. Go down in flames boys. Flames!

A free kick for Italy from 35 yards out. It's over the wall and easily saved.
Darmian comes onto his right to bring a fingertip save from Navas. The corner comes to nothing.
Gonzales' header at the back post is well off target. At the other end Cassano receives the ball in the box and is promptly tackled.
Apparently there was a fight in the tunnel. How thrilling! Costa Rica win a corner on the left.

Did the UK not get the footage of the stramash in the tunnel when they came off for half-time then? Huh.

Pirlo curls in a corner, it comes out to Balotelli, and he goes to ground too, after a challenge from Duarte, but it's not a penalty, more an excellent tackle.
Balotelli wins a corner on the left wing. Pirlo will take.
Italy Substitution
And lastly a blog of dooooooom.
England: 6 reasons why it’s worse than you think

Trying to take the positives from England's defeat to Uruguay? Don't bother. The whole thing stinks. Here's why. Continue reading →

And here's another chance to read that Rob Smyth blog from last night.

RT @tomEurosport: It's half time, why not read Rob Smyth on Suarez inheriting Maradona's crown https://t.co/f6NQKwDJno

Here's a photo of the Ruiz goal.
They're showing capoeira on BBC's coverage, which has reminded me of this excellent song. Enjoy.
Dead Prez "Hip Hop"

Revolution style video directed by Brian Beletic. Ipod compatible video.

Pirlo takes a free kick from 40 yards out, and it's rubbish. That's half time.
Cassano is on in place of Motta, and the first half has transformed into the second. The circle of life.
GOAL! Italy 0-1 Costa Rica. Ruiz scores. Costa Rica attack down the left with Diaz, who curls in a great cross to the back post, it's met by Ruiz, who heads high against the cross bar and down across the line. England are going out.
Costa Rica Goal

Header - Bottom Right

Joel Campbell should have a penalty. He runs straight towards goal, into the box, is tripped by Chiellini, and the ref gives nothing! ROBBIE SAVAGE IS SHOUTING.
The corner is punched away, and Ruiz comes back on the right wing. He stands the ball up for Duarte, and heads it a few yards over.
An early cross for Campbell at the near post is blocked by Chiellini, who concedes a corner. It's a cross on the left for Costa Rica.

We going Pirlo, Immobile or Marchisio as best looking Italy player?

Bryan Ruiz ambles forward from midfield and lets fly from 36 yards (yes, 36), but it's too weak to cause any trouble.
After a few chances, the game has started to open up. Balotelli comes forward down the left, plays the ball inside, back to Balotelli from Pirlo, but he's offside.
Bolanos takes an early shot from the edge of the box, and Buffon gets across quickly to palm it away. It was a decent effort and better save.
De Rossi and Diaz come together, and De Rossi rakes his studs into Diaz's knee. He should see yellow, at least, but the ref gives the free kick to Italy.
Another chance for Balotelli. Motta heads a ball over the top, this time, for Balotelli. He's offside but the linesman ignores it. He strikes a low shot from the edge of the box, but it's well stopped by Navas, and he gets to the rebound before Marchisio.
Balotelli goes closest so far. A ball chipped over the top for Balotelli, which he brings down awkwardly, lobs the 'keeper, but it's just a little underhit, and a little wide.

Do you want this kiss from the queen or not mate?

Balotelli and Tejeda come together in a 50-50, and the two of them are OK now.
A long ball is headed back into the past of Motta, and he strikes from the edge of the box... and it's wide of goal. Ho hum.
Want to see a stil of some hot, live action? Then just look below. Marchisio is clumped by Tejeda in midfield, and wins a free kick (yes, that's not what is in the photo).
Another ball over the top for Balotelli, and this time he is ruled offside, incorrectly so.
Balotelli chases a long ball down the right, he drives into the box, then is tackled and gives away a foul on Gonzales.
What a staggeringly dull match. The sun is shining, why not go out and lie in the sun for a bit?
The game restarts and Itay build from defence. They sloppily lose it again, then win it back and start again. It's an odd match, like nobody knows what approach to take.
Joel Campbell's corner is overhit, and then the ball is put out of play as a follow up cross goes straight into Chiellini's head.
Another Costa Rica, this time on the right, as Chiellini has the ball blasted at him by Gamboa - but it doesn't hit him and the ref makes an error.
An astute observation by a Canadian, here, although it feels more like the Netherlands performance against Australia.
Marchisio's off-target backpass goes straight out for a corner. Complacent stuff. Costa Rica's corner is unconvincingly cleared by Buffon.
Italy have the ball, aim a long one over the top for Abate, but he's in an offside position.
Some advice from the Guardian's writer of longest sentences ever.


Italy are sitting back, letting Costa Rica try to break them down. They are rightly confident that they have the ability to score in this game. It is likely that Costa Rica's impressive performance against Uruguay was a one-off, but by no means certain.
Balotelli is penalised for a foul when fighting for the corner, so Costa Rica have the ball back.
Some interesting news for the game ahead, as Gonzales comes across to tackle Darmian. Corner for Italy.

RT @mattspiro: Deschamps needed to talk to Pogba about attitude after Norway friendly. Seems his bad reaction to Palacios vs Honduras has c…

Buffon misreads the flight of the ball, and Borges heads the ball just over. A lucky escape.
Duarte is given a telling off for a cynical tug on Marchisio on the Italian left wing. The ref was lenient there. Costa Rica win the ball, scoot up the other end and have a shot blocked for a corner.
Abate fouls Diaz on the left wing, and Costa Rica take it short, and spread the play to the right. They're patient, too.
A geography tweet from Rory Smith to keep you occupied while the game limbers up.

Right, Italy v Costa Rica for me today. Arena Pernambucano not exactly rammed. Maybe because it's about 40 miles away from anywhere.

More dull football. The game is yet to warm up.
Italy are playing calmly in defence, between Buffon and the defenders.
The game kicks off, and Italy have the first attack of the match, and Marchisio is ruled offside.
In cricket news, Stuart Broad has a hat-trick. See, England aren't absolutely terrible at everything, just football. And sometimes cricket. And sometimes rugby. I could go on. Anyway, five minutes left, so sit back and enjoy the anthems.
I'm going to predict a 5-6 win for Costa Rica, with Joel Campbell scoring all 11 goals. If you would like to tell me what your prediction is, then you can do it on Twitter at @lxndrnthrtn.
Only MASSIVE opinion you'll get from me today, but do you not find the overly sentimental introductions and features on teams on players on the coverage in England the kind of thing only a psychopath could do? They're just bizarre.
Before the game build-up gets properly underway, there's also a more detailed explanation of Buffon's return from injury.
World Cup - Buffon back to captain Italy for Costa Rica clash

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has returned from injury to captain Italy in their Group D match against Costa Rica in Recife.

There's also the breaking story from the World Cup, generally. Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure's brother has died. You can get more on this story by clicking the link.
World Cup - Ibrahim Toure, brother of Yaya and Kolo, dies aged 28

Ibrahim Toure, younger brother of Yaya and Kolo Toure, has died at the age of just 28.

For those of you who have still not yet got all they can stomach about England, have a look at ex-Hull manager Jan Molby's opinion that to get rid of Roy Hodgson now would be insulting.
Questions over Hodgson’s future are insulting

Jan Molby says questions over Roy Hodgson's future with England are ridiculous and premature, despite the loss to Uruguay. Continue reading →

I have a slight problem with one of the lines about Suarez here, but otherwise I cannot fault Rob Smyth's analysis of the game between Uruguay and England last night. Treat yourself.
The night Luis Suarez became Maradona’s spiritual heir, with the help of England’s defence

Rob Smyth says England's defence is as weak a unit as they have ever sent to a tournament, and Luis Suarez exploited that to the full. Continue reading →

Italy will be glad to call on Buffon again after his injury problem earlier, and especially as there were rumours that he could in fact be out of the whole tournament. They will certainly need him if Joel Campbell plays as we all know he is capable of. While this is one of the worst Italian squads in recent times, with Balotelli, Pirlo, De Rossi and Buffon, they have some exceptional players still.
And here's a video on why Costa Rica could well beat Italy. Apparently Costa Rica winning is actually bad for England. I'm lost here. Watch the preview and look at people far cleverer than me, with more emotional investment in England than I have.
Bad news for England: Why Costa Rica could stun Italy

Watch the video Bad news for England: Why Costa Rica could stun Italy on Yahoo Eurosport UK. Italy’s form at World Cups is impressive on paper, but there’s reason to believe Costa Rica could claim another scalp.

I will assume that you are all nothing if not multimedia. So let's have a video preview. Italy need to win if you support England or Italy, and Costa Rica need to win if you dislike England or support Uruguay or Costa Rica. Me? I just hope football is the winner.
Preview: Italy v Costa Rica

Watch the video Preview: Italy v Costa Rica on Yahoo Eurosport UK. We look ahead to the Group D encounter between Italy and Costa Rica at the World Cup.

TEAMS: Italy: Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Darmian, Chiellini, De Rossi, Pirlo, Motta, Marchisio, Candreva, Balotelli. /// Costa Rica: Navas, Gonzalez, Umana, Borges, Duarte, Bolanos, Campbell, Ruiz, Diaz, Gamboa, Tejeda.
Thanks for joining our live coverage of Italy v Costa Rica in Recife. Both teams have three points after their first game, and anything other than an Italy win will ensure England cannot reach the knockout stages.

Starting Line-ups

Costa Rica
    • Buffon
    • Darmian
    • Chiellini
    • 15
    • 7
    • 16
      De Rossi
    • 8
    • 21
    • 5
    • Candreva
    • 9
Team Manager:  Antonio Conte
    • 9
    • 10
    • 5
    • 17
      Yeltsin Tejeda
    • 7
      Christian Bolaños
    • 16
    • 6
    • 3
      Giancarlo González
    • 4
      Michael Umaña
    • 15
      Júnior Díaz
    • 1
Team Manager:  Paulo César Wanchope
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