World Cup highlights: England v Italy

England 1-2 Italy
Published Sunday, 15 June 2014
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England have lost their World Cup opener 2-1 to Italy despite putting on a thrilling display of attacking football in the draining heat of Manaus.

World Cup highlights: England v Italy
Mario Balotelli and Marco Verratti celebrate after the second goal. (© Getty)

Daniel Sturridge cancelled out a Claudio Marchisio strike before Mario Ballotelli scored a second half winner for the Azzurri at the Arena Amazonia.

England at times looked breathtaking on the attack and took the game to their opponents from the start.

Raheem Sterling wowed the crowds with his quick thinking and even quicker feet and was the architect for Sturridge's goal, delivering a 40-yard pass to Wayne Rooney who found the Liverpool man with a lovely cross which was duly stabbed home on the half-volley.

It prompted some over-exuberant celebrations on the England bench with physio Gary Lewin having to be carried off on a stretcher with a dislocated ankle.

Despite a promising performance it was defensive shortcomings that cost Roy Hodgson's side.

Marchisio took full advantage after being inexplicably left unmarked to score from outside the box, then Gary Cahill lost Balotelli at the back post to allow Italy to add a winner.

"It is a bit tough to accept we lost the game," Hodgson said.

"Even when they got back to 2-1 I thought we would get back into it. I thought that was the best I'd seen the team play. I suppose you have to bite the bullet today and accept we played well.

"To take them so close gives us great confidence playing against Uruguay and Costa Rica."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
jon in belfast wrote (105 days ago):
funny place we live in, most of the football supporting population supports an english team, yet when the same players put on an england shirt we love to see them fail. we can call them rubbish but time and time again they are there we are not!
Same old story in Belfast wrote (107 days ago):
It's no good having a thrilling display of attacking football if you can't hit the back of the net. I will be surprised if they don't end up bottom of the group, beaten in every match.
Canice in Derry wrote (107 days ago):
There was more to Italy's win than just bad defending by England. Raheem sterling lost possession too often. England's mid field is crap. Haha ABE
gak in newcastle wrote (107 days ago):
Always good for a laugh! Same old England same old result.1966 is never coming back!
Mark in Belfast wrote (107 days ago):
Stronger after the defeat ?! mmmm if thats the case engurland should be world champions !!!!
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