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Balotelli goal gives Italy 2-1 win over England

Updated: 2014-06-15 08:50 (Agencies)

Balotelli goal gives Italy 2-1 win over England

Italy's Mario Balotelli (C) heads the ball to score past England's Gary Cahill (L) and Joe Hart during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus, June 14, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Balotelli goal gives Italy 2-1 win over England
Special: All about 2014 World Cup
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 free by his marker Gary Cahill and nodded a cross from Antonio Candreva past goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 50th minute.

Claudio Marchisio scored first 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, giving the 2010 semifinalists a

similarly difficult task to advance.

Balotelli nearly scored another in first-half injury time, running deep into the area and enticing Hart to come off his line. The Italy striker stopped, looked toward goal and sent a chip over the keeper's head - only for Phil Jagielka to clear by heading the ball over the bar.

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