Throwing away the tag of slow starters, Cesare Prandelli’s Italy made the winning start to their World Cup campaign, beating Roy Hodgson’s England 2-1 in Manaus. Italy have always dominated England in the World Cup games and the trend continued in this encounter also as Cesare Prandelli’s men were far superior than their English counterparts.
Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli scored the goals for Italy while Daniel Sturridge scored the lone goal for England at the Arena Amazonia.
Many experts have called for the inclusion of Ciro Immobile in the starting line-up ahead of Mario Balotelli. But Super Mario repaid the faith of his coach by scoring through a brilliant header. Balotelli’s movements were superb throughout the match and he constantly caused the trouble to the English defence.
Italy took lead over England with intelligently taken set-piece where Claudio Marchisio drive home from 25 yards, but Daniel Sturridge levelled the scores just two minutes later through Rooney led counter attack.
However, just five minutes after the break, Mario scored through excellent cross of Candreva, which proved to be an eventual winner.
“It’s a great emotional occasion for me, I’ve never played in the World Cup,” Balotelli told Sky Sport. “I dedicate the goal to my future wife, my family that was in the stands and my friends.
“We will go step by step from here, England are a good team. We played well, struggling in the heat, but it was important to win.
“All teams are worth fearing but now everone else must also fear us.”
Cesare Prandelli criticizes FIFA
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has blasted on world governing body for not giving time outs to the players in such difficult playing conditions.
“It was madness not to have time-outs in these conditions,” slammed the Italy Coach, referring to FIFA’s decision against the breaks for heat and humidity of Manaus.
Prandelli told that the conditions were extremely difficult to play football but his players did a good job by martialling the midfield well.
“It was impossible to maintain that level of intensity. The team suffered, but we maintained the supremacy in the middle of the field.
“We worked well in training and it showed, as midway through the second half England’s players had cramp. It means our work paid off.”
Amidst all the criticism of the striker, Prandelli selected Mario Balotelli in the starting line-up and the coach praised the efforts of the striker. “Balotelli gave everything he possibly could’ve given. Everyone gave their all.”