published Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Balotelli goal gives Italy 2-1 win over England

Italy's Mario Balotelli (9) heads the ball past England's Gary Cahill (5) and goalkeeper Joe Hart, left, to score Italy's second goal during the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Italy's Mario Balotelli (9) heads the ball past England's Gary Cahill (5) and goalkeeper Joe Hart, left, to score Italy's second goal during the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MANAUS, Brazil — Mario Balotelli scored with a second-half header Saturday to give Italy a 2-1 win over England at the World Cup.

The Italy striker was left unmarked by Gary Cahill and nodded a cross from Antonio Candreva past goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 50th minute.

Claudio Marchisio opened the scoring for Italy, sending a long shot through a crowded area and past a diving Hart in the 35th. Daniel Sturridge equalized for England two minutes later, tapping in a cross from Wayne Rooney.

The win puts Italy in a strong position to qualify for the second round, and leaves England with plenty to do in its remaining two matches.

In the other Group D match, Costa Rica beat Uruguay 3-1, leaving the 2010 semifinalists with a similarly difficult task to advance.

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