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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 April, 2015

As it happened: England v Costa Rica, Italy v Uruguay, World Cup Group D

Italy faced Uruguay and England played Costa Rica as Group D reached its conclusion.

Image: Mike Egerton

URUGUAY AND ITALY meet today in a loser leaves town match, while England will be looking to restore some pride against Costa Rica.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail paul@thescore.ie, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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England 0-0 Costa Rica
Italy 0-1 Uruguay

16:2516.25 – Hello, and welcome to our liveblog of today’s early games.

The team news is coming up in a moment…

16:3216.32 – So firstly, a reminder of what’s at stake.

  • Costa Rica are already through to the last 16 but must secure a draw to guarantee top spot, while England need to win to have any hope of avoiding the ignominy of finishing last.
  • Meanwhile, Italy take on Uruguay knowing a draw will be good enough to send them through, as they’re level on points with the South American side but have a marginally better goal difference.

Here’s confirmation of how it stands (credit FIFA.com):

Costa

16:3816.38 – Here are the teams…

ITALY: Buffon, De Sciglio, Chiellini, Darmian, Marchisio, Balotelli, Barzagli, Immobile, Bonucci, Pirlo, Verratti.

URUGUAY: Muslera, Godin (c), Pereira, Rodriguez, Suarez, Gimenez, Lodeiro, Arevalo, Gonzalez, Cavani, Caceres.

COSTA RICA: Navas, Gamboa, Duarte, Gonzalez, Miller, Diaz, Ruiz, Borges, Tejeda, Brenes, Campbell. 

ENGLAND: Foster, Jones, Smalling, Cahill, Shaw, Lampard, Wilshere, Milner, Barkley, Lallana, Sturridge.

16:5616.56 – Kobe Bryant’s nailed his colours to the mast!

17:0017.00 – We’re underway…

17:0217.02

17:0517.054 mins – The crowd in the Costa Rica came are currently singing “England’s going home.”

Way harsh.

17:0817.08 – The fans appear to be backing Roy Hodgson despite England’s disappointing tournament.

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group D - Costa Rica v England - Estadio Mineirao

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

17:1017.106 mins – Italy have started nervously.

Buffon has just unconvincingly parried away a free-kick he should be catching.

17:1417.1411 mins – This time it’s Uruguay looking nervous — Pirlo fires a free kick just in and the keeper cautiously tips it over.

Meanwhile, in the England game, Daniel Sturridge has struck a shot from the edge of the box just wide.

17:1817.18 – It’s been a quiet enough opening in both games, so here’s a hilarious marriage proposal to keep you amused:

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group D - Costa Rica v England - Estadio Mineirao

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

17:2417.2418 mins – Italy are looking the stronger side at the moment, but their final ball — unusually for such a technically proficient team — has been pretty poor.

That said, Uruguay are always going to be very dangerous on the break with Suarez and Cavani well capable of nicking a goal.

Meanwhile, Balotelli has just been booked for stupidly jumping into Arévalo Ríos. He’ll miss the next match should Italy progress.

17:2717.2724 mins - Ben Foster has had to make an excellent finger-tip stop from Celso Borges’ powerful free-kick.

England then break, but their attack ends owing to a bad pass from Barkley.

17:2917.2927 mins - A free-kick is knocked into the path of Sturridge, however Duarte nudges him off the ball somewhat riskily, preventing him getting a shot on target in the process.

England have certainly matched Costa Rica so far on the balance of play.

17:3617.3632 mins - Chance for Uruguay, as Suarez is played through, but Buffon does well to get off his line quickly and smother his attempted cross-shot.

Italy certainly aren’t playing an overly attacking game, which is a risky strategy to adopt.

17:3717.3734 mins - Sturridge heads just over after Phil Jones heads a corner back in his direction.

England look the far more threatening side right now.

17:3917.39

17:4217.42 – Suarez makes a mistimed tackle on Pirlo and then reacts in his usual overly expressive way.

Both star players in question have been relatively quiet so far.

17:4617.46 – Neither game has been particularly entertaining, but the Twitterati have been particularly scathing about Italy-Uruguay.

It’s even been drawing comparisons to the godawful England-Algeria game from 2010.

17:4717.4745 mins - Brenes gets in behind the England defence following a routine punt up field, but he can’t quite finish.

Evidently, all the changes haven’t meant a drastic improvement for England at the back.

17:4817.48HALF-TIME: ENGLAND 0-0 COSTA RICA

HALF-TIME: ITALY 0-0 URUGUAY

17:5217.52 – This sums up England’s creative ineptitude better than anything else.

18:0118.01Dunphy

Dunphy says Hodgson “deserves the sack” and jokes that he gets paid “8.6 million an hour or something.”

Meanwhile, Liam Brady reckons Balotelli could “lose the head”.

18:0318.03 – Italy are making a substitution — Marco Parolo is on for Mario Balotelli. Big call from Prandelli.

Par

18:0418.04 – Both games are back underway…

18:0818.08 – You can’t say they don’t have a sense of humour.

Colm

(Thanks to TheScore.ie reader ‘Solemn Colm’ for sending us the pic.)

18:1018.1049 mins - A Shaw shot falls to Sturridge, who can’t quite control the ball and the keeper Navas gathers it.

England continue to look the more dangerous team.

18:1218.12

18:1518.1555 mins - Still not much of note happening in either game.

Barkley and Lallana getting booked for cynical tackles is about the height of the excitement.

18:2118.2160 MINS: RED CARD FOR MARCHISIO!

The Italian gets a straight red for a nasty challenge on Egidio Arevalo.

18:2218.22 – Here’s a look at that challenge which has hampered Italy’s chances significantly.

18:2518.2563 mins - Great interplay from Sturridge and Wilshere, before the Liverpool man curls a shot inches wide.

Meanwhile, for Italy, Pirlo has just uncharacteristically balooned a shot well over.

Seconds later, Suarez finds space in the box, but Buffon gets down well to make the save.

18:2918.2968 mins: Sturridge, who is increasingly prominent of late, finds himself through on goal, before going down theatrically under a light challenge.

The referee rightly ignores calls for a penalty.

18:3118.3170 mins: Italy substitution: Cassano is on for Immobile for Italy.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard replaces Jack Wilshere for England. This may well be the Liverpool man’s final appearance at international level.

18:3218.32

18:3518.3574 mins: Thiago Motta comes on for Verrati, as the clock ticks on.

This is a classic Italian defensive display.

18:3918.39Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group D - Costa Rica v England - Estadio Mineirao

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Costa Rica fans in fancy dress in the stands.

18:4118.41GOAL! Uruguay 1-0 Italy (Godin, 81)

The defender heads in from a corner to put Uruguay in control.

18:4218.42 – Unbelievable scenes, it looks like he’s done it again…

18:4418.44 – Here’s a look at that Suarez moment…

http://vine.co/v/MtJ1Km0MhVj

18:4618.46 – And here’s the Godin goal…

http://vine.co/v/MtJ1zhLJMFY

18:5118.51Brazil Soccer WCup Italy Uruguay

Source: Ricardo Mazalan

Suarez argues with the referee.

18:5218.5290 mins: Italy still passing it about patiently but no sign of an opening.

18:5318.53FULL-TIME: ENGLAND 0-0 COSTA RICA

18:5418.54 – A late free-kick for Italy. Buffon is up…

18:5518.55FULL-TIME: URUGUAY 1-0 ITALY

18:5718.57 – Balotelli is heartbroken…

Balotelli

19:0219.02

19:0419.04 – Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and stay tuned for more reaction as well as our liveblog of tonight’s games.

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