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World Cup 2014: Uruguay through after downing 10-man Italy

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World Cup 2014: Uruguay through after downing 10-man Italy


Uruguay will join Costa Rica as the last 16 contenders from Group D after they narrowly beat Italy 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Diego Godin in Natal on Tuesday.

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio was controversially sent off for a clumsy challenge on Arevalo Rios leaving la Squadra Azzurra to play most of the second half with 10 men.

Elsewhere, England were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte, completing a miserable campaign for Roy Hodgson’s men who after two opening defeats were eliminated from the group stage for the first time since 1958.

Last-gasp penalty

Greece needed a late penalty from Georgios Samaras to down the Ivory Coast 2-1 at the Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza.

Andreas Samaris opened the scoring just before the break with Swansea forward Wilfried Bony equalising in the 72nd minute.

Didier Drogba’s team-mates then pushed but it wasn’t to be as Samaras was fouled in the box by substitute Giovanni Sio in stoppage time and calmly slotted home.

In group C’s other game, José Pékerman’s men breezed through to the last 16 with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Japan in Cuiabá.

Juan Cuadrado and Jackson Martínez each netted before James Rodríguez made sure of the win in the dying moments, scoring arguably the goal of the tournament so far.

This win sees Colombia top group C, meaning they will next lock horns with Uruguay on Saturday while Greece will take on Costa Rica on Sunday.

All to play for

Ecuador are set to take on France on Wednesday in Group E’s final block of matches. Both teams will be looking to avoid Argentina in the knockout stages with Didier Deschamps’ men holding the upper hand after winning their opening two matches.

Les Bleus have been one of the teams to watch so far, boasting the best goal difference after winning their first two games in style.

The last time these two sides met was in a friendly in Grenoble six years ago with France winning through 2-0 thanks to a brace of goals from Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis.

A draw is enough

Nigeria can reach the knockout phase if they avoid defeat against Argentina in Porto Alegre.

Victor Moses and Godfrey Oboabona have both suffered injuries and are unlikely to be considered for places in the starting line-up.

The Argentines have no fresh injury concerns but it is not yet clear if Gonzalo Higuain will start up front with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, as team coach Alejandro Sabella may decide to rest a few of his key players for the next round.

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