Sport Other Sports Heartache for England as Italy takes 2-1 win

Heartache for England as Italy takes 2-1 win

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Italy has scored a vital win to start its World Cup campaign, beating England 2-1 in Manaus.

A defensive struggle had been expected, but both sides produced a series of attacking chances in steamy conditions.

Italy took the lead in the 35th minute, after a perfectly executed move from a corner set up midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who drilled a right-footed shot into the corner from outside the box.

England equalised two minutes later, however, as Wayne Rooney produced a brilliant cross from the left for striker Daniel Sturridge to finish from close range to make it 1-1.

Mario Balotelli nearly made it two before half-time, but his chip from an extremely tight angle was cleared off the line by England defender Phil Jagielka.

The second half was a little slower because of the heat, but Balotelli got the vital goal in the 50th minute when he headed home a cross from Antonio Candreva.

The win puts Italy second in the group behind Costa Rica, who upset Uruguay 3-1 in the earlier game.

More to follow.