Ugliness reigns as Uruguay edges 10-man Italy 1-0

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm •  Published: June 24, 2014
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NATAL, Brazil (AP) — After nearly two weeks of mostly beautiful, free-flowing football, the game's ugly side was on full display when Uruguay edged 10-man Italy 1-0 onTuesday to reach the second round of the World Cup.

With a bite on the shoulder, a shin to the head and a boot to the knee, there wasn't much to admire at the Arena das Dunas. Even the match's lone goal was a product of brute force — it didn't even come with a kick or a header.

Uruguay defender Diego Godin scored with his shoulder in the 81st minute of an "in or out" match to send his side through to the second round, but the victory was overshadowed by a biting incident involving the South American squad's star forward Luis Suarez.

And with four-time champion Italy heading home after the group phase for a second time in four years, coach Cesare Prandelli and football federation president Giancarlo Abete both resigned moments after the match.

"When you don't score a goal in two matches and don't create much, it's clearly a failure," Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon said, with the Azzurri having also been beaten 1-0 by Costa Rica in their previous game.

This match was decided when Godin rose above a crowd of defenders to redirect a corner with his back to the goal.

Moments earlier, replays showed Suarez apparently bite the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini as the pair clashed in the Italian penalty area.

Suarez was already sanctioned with a heavy ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in the English Premier League in 2013 and FIFA can sanction players for biting with bans of up to two years.

Chiellini said Suarez should have been sent off and that a red card earlier for Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio should never have been given.

"The red for Marchisio and not sending off Suarez were ridiculous," Chiellini said.

"It was absolutely clear. There's even a mark," Chiellini said of the bite.

It was one of the most appalling incidents in the World Cup since France's Zinedine Zidane head butted Marco Materazzi of Italy in the 2006 final.

But the biting incident wasn't all.

In the 59th, Marchisio was shown a straight red card for putting his boot into Egidio Arevalo's knee.

And midway through the first half, Mario Balotelli picked up his second yellow card in two matches for a needless foul on Alvaro Pereira. Balotelli practically leapt over the midfielder, hitting the back of his opponent's head with his left shin.

Pereira was already the victim of a head injury in Uruguay's 2-1 win over England.

Balotelli was benched for the second period.