FIFA World Cup Group D contenders: Italy lost to Uruguay in the prematch phase on June 24. Uruguay’s win against Italy earned them a greater chance of entering round 16. They are still alive and now qualify for a knockout position. However, Italy did not make it to Round 16, Uruguay took them out and they returned home earlier than expected.
Many people walked away disappointed with Italy’s loss to Uruguay. They thought Italy had a lot of potential coming into the FIFA World Cup and it was very difficult to watch as the team struggled hard to get on the scoreboard.
Uruguay made a dynamic pitch but had trouble with most of their runs into Italy’s penalty area. Italy had a stronger defense strategy in both rounds and they also kept possession of the ball more than Uruguay. Italian Striker Mario Balotelli was a prime example for accurately running the ball from midfield to center field. Though the endowment was a great demonstration of his athleticism, it did not render any goals for the team.
Italy could not make a comeback because Uruguay refused to relinquish their efforts to win and countered just about every strategic play by the Italians. Moreover, Italy did not establish the defense they needed to get the ball pass the goal line. They did very well on close counter shot interchanges, but fell short on making hard thrusts towards the penalty box.
Italy only required a draw in this game which would have taken them into the knockout phase. Many critics stated Uruguay did not necessarily stop Italy rather they lacked a defense build up and failed to take control during the game.
It was obvious early on that Uruguay was very comfortable with ball movement down the stretch. Yet neither team made a goal by the end of the first round, and after 45 minutes of struggling against the wills of the other, they both walked off the field with a score of 0-0.
There is also another reason Italy did not make it to the FIFA World Cup round of 16 this year. They received two infraction cards during the match against Uruguay that took them out.
The first was a yellow card drawn on Balotelli in the first round. He had a reaction of sheer surprise to the call as he was sent out of the game early by Coach Cesare Prandelli. In the second round, this time Midfielder Claudio Marchisio drew a red card and was sent to the bench putting Italy down a man during one of the most crucial times of the game.
As the second round ensued the battle continued in the same context as the first round, and both teams remained scoreless. The looks on the faces of fans were perplexed. Towards the end of the second half, Italian Forward Luis Suarez took the game up a few notches, and showed a positive defense pattern as he swiftly appeared then reappeared at the front center. Suarez had found his breakthrough. Suarez took his opportunity and approached the box. Time after time he shot for the goal only to be met head on by Italian Goalkeeper, Gigi Buffon in a host of brilliant saves.
As Suarez began to line up his eye level and ball coordination with the goal box, the Italian fans excitement reached to near distraction. Once again, Suarez went into the center and penetrated the box shot after shot but no score. Next Suarez, either out of sheer frustration or just in a dire moment, bit lightly into the shoulder of an Italian player. At the time it was determined that Suarez used his head and not his teeth, therefore he remained in the pitch.
With only 7 minutes remaining and both teams equalized at 0-0, Uruguay’s Centerback player Diego Godin swiftly appeared from the midfield to the center. Next Godin executed a powerful strike followed by extraordinary speed that centered the ball directly into the net and swept the game. Uruguay had surpassed Italy 1-0 just as the game ended. Finally Uruguay’s fans could be heard all throughout the stadium as they held their flags up high and sang a victory song.
Italy, the four-time champions of the FIFA World Cup was taken out by Uruguay, and did not make it to the round of 16. Instead they went home along with other heavyweights, England and Spain. Uruguay sealed their spot in Group D knockout category along with Columbia during the prematch phase.
By Kimakra Nealy