Uruguay knockout Italy in controversial game as the Azzurri are reduced to 10 men, Suarez allegedly bites Chiellini and Diego Godin scores the winner.
The Italians have repeated their feat of the last World Cup as they have now been knocked out of the group stage twice in a row. Cesare Prandelli’s men needed only a draw in this game to book their place in the round of 16, but failed to do so as Diego Godin’s goal proved to be the difference.
Both the teams made a cautious beginning with Italy looking composed in possession and Uruguay trying hard to break through the Italian defence. But the first half didn’t see too much goal mouth action, with Mario Balotelli being frustrated by the Uruguayan defence and Luis Suarez failing to have an impact. The best chance of the half did fall to Suarez, but Gianluigi Buffon made a wonderful save to protect the clean sheet.
The South American side came out with much more intent in the second half, but Italy held their shape at the back. The turning point of the match arrived in the 59th minute when Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio received a straight red for high challenge on Egidio Rios. Italy went down to 10 men and this provided Uruguay with the incentive to push forward in attack.
Luis Suarez, who produced a below par performance on the day, grabbed the headlines as he allegedly attempted to bite Giorgio Chiellini. The officials refused to take any action on Suarez despite strong protests from Chiellini and the Italians. Instead the Uruguayans took the lead few minutes later as Diego Godin headed in a wonderful corner from Gaston Ramirez. That goal proved to be decisive as Italy failed to equalize despite several late attempts.
Cesare Prandelli announced his resignation in the post-match press conference as he took responsibility for the failure to qualify from the group stage.
“I talked to the President of the Federation and Demetrio Albertini, and gave my resignation. The technical set-up didn’t work, and I take all responsibility for that.
“Something has changed since my contract was renewed. I don’t know why. I chose a certain technical plan and that’s why I am resigning, because it did not work. My resignation is irrevocable.” – Prandelli said.
Prandelli looked back at his tenure with pride and insisted that the sending off changed the course of the game.
“A second European Championship, third at the Confederations [Cup] and the qualification obtained in advance should not be under-estimated.
“The match was well-balanced in equal numbers, but the sending-off changed it all.” – He added.
Meanwhile, FIGC president Giancarlo Abete also stepped down from his post and hoped that the board can persuade Prandelli into reconsidering his decision.
“I would like to announce my resignation. I do hope that at the forthcoming meeting of the board, they can persuade Cesare to reconsider his position.
“I had already made my decision before the World Cup.” – Abete said.