Italy beat England 2-1 at the Arena Amazonia on Saturday to secure their first three points of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Raheem Sterling had the Italians worried with a shot from range hitting the side netting as early as the third minute. Some sloppy defending by the Azzurri contributed to Roy Hodgson’s men gaining confidence and they kept coming at all angles initially.
After a series of attempts by either side, the 2006 champions were the first on the score sheet ten minutes before half time after
Claudio Marchisio rifled a shot past Joe Hart feasting on a well worked corner. The Three Lions responded just three minutes later. Daniel Sturridge timed his run perfectly to pounce on a Wayne Rooney cross. Phil Jagielka and Joe Hart rescued the English men later in the half as the match reached the break with the sides deadlocked at one all.
The Azzurri only really got going when they scored after the restart. In the 49th minute, Antonio Candreva whipped in a magnificent cross picking out Mario Balotelli and the 23-year old nodded past Hart for Italy’s second of the night. Wayne Rooney, Sterling and Sturridge continued with their starring roles deep into the second stanza in search of an equaliser but Salvatore Sirigu refused to be beaten.
England tried to steal a draw later in the match but there would be no denying Cesare Prandelli and his charges their first victory of the tournament as they will now prepare to face the wounded Uruguay, who were stunned 3-1 by Costa Rica earlier in the day.