23:23 (IST): Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0 to qualify for Last 16. England are knocked out after this result.
23:18 (IST): 87′ FAREWELL ENGLAND. Roy Hodgson and his squad will be watching on and fully aware that they are minutes away from being knocked out of the World Cup. Italy have to score two goals in the remainder of the match to keep the Three Lions in the competition… and there is no sign of that happening.
23:15 (IST): 84′ NO SIGN OF LIFE. Italy are in real danger of leaving themselves needing to beat the dangerous Uruguay in the final group game, but there is a lack of urgency in their play that must be down to the heat. There is no other excuse for such a tepid performance.
23:12 (IST): 81′ Nine minutes to go before stoppage time. Costa Rica still lead Italy by one goal to nil.
23:08 (IST): 77′ PACKED DEFENCE. There are so many players back for Costa Rica now that it is proving very tricky for Italy to pick their way through. This would be a monumental win for the underdogs… although they may have transcended that underdog tag by now. This is a proper team, make no mistake.
23:05 (IST): 74′ AN IMPRESSIVE SHOWING. Arsenal’s youngster Joel Campbell has spent his Gunners career out on loan, but his showing in the World Cup so far will have been of huge encouragement to Arsene Wenger. The striker makes way for Marco Urena after running his socks off for the Costa Rican cause.
23:00 (IST): 69′ Balotelli is shown a yellow card now. It pretty much sums up Italy’s misery story today.
22:57 (IST): 66′ Costa Rica 1 Italy 0. The Central American giant killers can’t take it easy from here still. Italy look better in their attack. Costa Rica lost all three of their games in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. This year they have already beaten Uruguay and look set to beat Italy here. What a story! A win for Costa Rica here would put them through into the second round out of the first group in World Cup history to include three former winners. If they do progress to the knockout stages it will be at the expense of two of the world’s top ten ranked teams, which is something to be extremely proud of. An equaliser for Italy would mean that these two teams would have a point advantage over Uruguay going into the third game, while only two goals and a win for Italy would keep England also in contention.
22:52 (IST): 61′ CASSANO HAS A GO. Antonio Cassano tries to conjure up something in the pocket, but his shimmy and shot is well read by the Costa Rican centre-backs and a block sends the ball dribbling through to the goalkeeper.
22:50 (IST): 59′ Buffon makes a delightful run forward to avert danger and clear. A through-ball almost picks out Christian Bolanos on the counter-attack, but Gianluigi Buffon races out of his area to get to the ball first. The flag was up in any case, but it isn’t tough to see what Costa Rica are trying to do, and Buffon will need to stay alert to those through-balls for the remainder of the game.
22:47 (IST): 56′ ANOTHER CHANGE FOR ITALY. The introduction of Lorenzo Insigne for Antonio Candreva adds yet another attacking threat to an Italy side that is now showing off its full array of striking options. The diminutive Insigne will give the Azzurri something different in the final third.
22:43 (IST): 52′ NAVAS MAKES THE SAVE. Andrea Pirlo has perfected the ‘knuckle-ball’ free-kick to add to his already impressive armoury, but Keylor Navas is equal to his long-range effort on this occasion.
22:41 (IST): 50′ DECENT HIT. Matteo Darmian fizzes a shot over the bar, but an unnecessary fingertip save by Keylor Navas earns Italy a corner. The set-piece is dealt with comfortably enough by Costa Rica, but does lead to yet another lengthy spell of Italy possession. The Azzurri have stepped it up a gear since the break.
22:40 (IST): 50′ Just to remind you that if Italy do not beat Costa Rica today, England will be eliminated from this year’s World Cup. Costa Rica 1 Italy 0.
22:38 (IST): 47′ PENALTY CLAIMS TURNED DOWN. Mario Balotelli looks to lay the ball off inside the area and goes down under a late challenge from behind. It is not a clear-cut decision like the one in the first half on Joel Campbell should have been, but it could easily have been given.
22:37 (IST): 46′ The desire to improve in the second half is clearly seen from Italy. The attacking Antonio Cassano replaces Thiago Motta.
22:18 (IST): After a dramatic first half, Costa Rica lead Italy by one goal to nil. Can Italy come back in second half? Costa Rica clear an Andrea Pirlo free-kick to bring the first half to an end. The underdogs have the lead at the break, but it is they who crowd the referee after the whistle to complain about the decisions that saw them denied a penalty and Giorgio Chiellini escape a sending off. That huge – and incorrect – decision by the official may play a big part in the second half, as Italy’s passing game will surely carve out more chances as the Costa Ricans tire. However, at half-time it is Italy 0, Costa Rica 1.
22:15 (IST): 44′ Bryan Ruiz finds the back of the net! And the goal-line technology confirms it! Costa Rica 1 Italy 0. Justice is done as Bryan Ruiz’s header crashes past Gianluigi Buffon in and in off the cross-bar (confirmed by the goal-line technology). Junior Diaz’s brilliant cross took out the Italian centre-backs and left Gianluigi Buffon stranded, and Ruiz took full advantage. 1-0.
22:14 (IST): 43′ A HOWLER BY THE REF. Costa Rica rob possession in the centre of the park and set Joel Campbell away on the counter-attack. The striker cuts back on to his left foot inside the area and appears to be bundled over by the covering Giorgio Chiellini, but the referee waves play on. To say the Costa Rican players and manager are furious is an understatement!
22:12 (IST): 41′ OVER THE BAR. Bryan Ruiz shows impressive composure to wait for a free man to appear in the Italian box before dinking a cross in to Oscar Duarte. The defender is all on his own, but can’t quite direct his flicked back-header into the net.
22:09 (IST): 38′ SPACE ON THE COUNTER. On the surface there isn’t a huge amount to choose between the two teams, but Costa Rica have been restricted to speculative long-range efforts (the latest of which from Bryan Ruiz is comfortable for Gianluigi Buffon), whereas Italy are biding their time and looking to pick out the runners in behind Costa Rica’s high-line defence, which will inevitably lead to more one-on-ones.
22:05 (IST): 34′ COMFORTABLE ON THE BALL. Italy have plenty of weaknesses, but ability to keep the ball is not one of them. The Azzurri ooze quality in possession, with Pirlo at the centre of everything as he strolls around the middle of the pitch. The veteran apparently made just four ‘sprints’ in the entirety of the win over England, but when you read the game like he does you rarely need to sprint.
22:04 (IST): 33′ Pirlo once again provides Italy a great chance to score but Balotelli hits straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.
22:02 (IST): 31′ Balotelli is provided with a peach of a pass in the Costa Rican penalty box by Pirlo but he makes a mess of it. Andrea Pirlo is a wonderful, wonderful footballer, and his pass to play Mario Balotelli through on goal is right out of his top-drawer. The forward tries to finish the goal in style, but his delicate chip over the goalkeeper lacks conviction… and more importantly direction… and drifts wide of the post.
21:57 (IST): 27′ THE TEMPO SLOWS. The heat was going to take its toll eventually, and the game has slowed to walking pace (or Pirlo pace, if you will). The crowd respond by entertaining themselves with a Mexican Wave.
21:52 (IST): 22′ BALOTELLI A THREAT. Mario Balotelli requested a kiss from the Queen of England if he scores in a win for Itay today (making the big presumption that she is a football fan), and the early signs are that the striker will cause the Costa Rican defence all sorts of problems. His strength and speed is giving Italy something to work off.
21:47 (IST): 17′ COSTA RICA NO PUSHOVERS. The Central American side were expected to struggle in this group, but their stunning victory over Uruguay showed their ability and they are giving this game a decent go too. Italy will have to work hard if they are to leave with the win.
21:46 (IST): 16′ Costa Rica are enjoying 57 per cent of the share of the ball as of now but then Italy are passing well between their players. They haven’t looked as threatening as they should though. Buffon’s return has been a great boost at the back.
21:41 (IST): 11′ END-TO-END. It has been a thrilling start to the game, with both teams clearly keen to get an early goal and achieve a platform to play the game at their own pace. It is making for a very entertaining watch, with Italy’s class shining through in the final third.
21:37 (IST): 7′ Borges receives a good cross as Costa Rica are awarded the first corner of the game but his header goes over the bar. Costa Rica 0 Italy 0.
21:34 (IST): 4′ GREAT START BY ITALY. The Italians have started with a bang, dominating possession and finding plenty of space out wide for the overlapping full-backs to exploit.
21:31 (IST): 1′ KICK-OFF. Italy get the game underway and immediately show their intent to keep the ball with a spell of possession football inside their own half. A delicate chip over the top threatens to put Claudio Marchisio clean through inside the opening minute, but he’s just caught offside.
21:30 (IST): 0′ HERE COME THE TEAMS. The 22 players emerge into the blistering heat to be welcomed by a packed Arena Pernambuco crowd. The anthems are belted out and the game is all set for kick-off.
21:02 (IST): 0′ ITALY V COSTA RICA. Luis Suarez’s second goal that beat England yesterday has ensured that even a win today won’t be enough to definitely send either of these teams through to the second round. Italy were quietly impressive in their 2-1 win over England in the heat of Manaus on Saturday, and will be looking for more of the same in the inevitably sweltering conditions in Recife. Their opponents, Costa Rica, were expected to be the whipping-boys of the group, but looked dangerous on the counter-attack against Uruguay and will fancy their chances if they manage to isolate Italy’s centre-backs on the break. A win for Italy would leave Group D in a position where all four teams will still be in with a chance of qualifying on Tuesday. A draw or a win for Costa Rica would be enough to take it down to a three horse race for the final round – with England heading home early.