World Cup - Suarez 'bites' opponent as Uruguay knock Italy out

World Cup Group D, Estadio das Dunas, Natal - Italy 0 (Marchisio s/o 59) Uruguay 1 (Godin 81)

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Football - Jack Lang's review of the year: Shock, horror and Luis Suarez's bite
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Luis Suarez holds his teeth after appearing to bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini

Luis Suarez created huge World Cup controversy after he seemed to bite an opponent for the third time in his career, as Diego Godin’s dramatic winner sent Uruguay through to the knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Italy.

Replays showed Suarez appearing to sink his teeth into the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini - the striker avoided immediate punishment for the offence despite Chiellini showing the referee tooth marks, but a hefty retrospective punishment seems certain.

Suarez has previously served bans for biting PSV's Otman Bakkal when playing for Ajax in 2010, and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic while representing Liverpool in 2013.

He achieved notoriety at the 2010 World Cup when his deliberate handball on the line allowed Uruguay to beat Ghana on penalties.

[SUAREZ 'BITES' ITALIAN DEFENDER]

A dull and ill-tempered first half saw few chances. Uruguay went close when Luis Suarez shot from a tight angle straight at Gianluigi Buffon, and Italy had a couple of long range strikes.

The most Mario Balotelli could manage was a yellow card, seemingly leaping four or five feet into the air to clump Alvaro Pereira to challenge for a high ball. Little happened after the break until the 58th minute, when Christian Rodriguez sent a chance wide.

A minute later, Claudio Marchisio saw a straight red for going studs up into a 50-50 tackle. Suarez almost broke through when Buffon saved from close range, impressing after a grim performance against Costa Rica.

Two minutes after Suarez's moment of madness, Godin met a corner perfectly to put his side ahead with just 10 minutes left. As tempers boiled over, Italy could not muster a reply despite a late foray forward by Buffon.

Uruguay finished second in Group D behind Costa Rica, while Italy exit from the group stage for the second World Cup in a row.

[OVERREACTION THEATRE: SUAREZ OVERSHADOWS ENGLAND DIRGE]

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KEY EVENTS

33’ - SUAREZ SHOT - Luis Suarez wriggles free of the defence after playing a 1-2 in the box, but sends his shot straight at Buffon, who claims the second shot from Lodeiro.

58’ - RODRIGUEZ CHANCE - After a great return pass from Suarez, Rodriguez drags a shot just wide.

59’ - MARCHISIO SENT OFF - Marchisio chases down a loose ball after a poor touch, and he puts his studs halfway up the leg of Arevalo, and is rightly sent off.

66’ - SUAREZ CHANCE - Picking up a blocked Cavani shot, Buffon gets down brilliantly to stop a Suarez shot.

79’ - SUAREZ BITES - Suarez runs after Chiellini and appears to bite a football player for the third time. Chiellini then aims an arm into his face in retaliation.

81’ - GODIN SCORES - A cross from the right is swung out for Godin, and he thunders a header past Buffon.

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KEY STATS

Italy have now exited at the group stage in their last two World Cups. The last time they managed this was in the 1960s (62 and 66).

Uruguay have progressed to the knockout stage in consecutive World Cups, for the first time since 1990.

The Azzurri have won just one of their last seven World Cup games (D3 L3).

Claudio Marchisio’s red card was the first Italy had received at the World Cup since Marco Materazzi was sent off against Australia in 2006.

This is the first time Uruguay have managed to score against Italy in their three World Cup games against them (W1 D1 L1)

Marco Verratti misplaced just two of his 43 passes in this match (95.3%), completing all of his passes in the first half.

It is the first time since 1970 that Italy have failed to score in two consecutive World Cup games.

This is the sixth win for South American sides in eight clashes with European teams in this World Cup.

The Azzurri have conceded exactly one goal in six of their last seven World Cup games.

Only three games so far at this World Cup have had more fouls than this clash (19 for each side).

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

How many games does Luis Suarez deserve for this? He got eight for racially abusing Patrice Evra, 10 for biting Branislav Ivanovic, and now he has bitten someone for the third time on the pitch. Logically, it should be 12 games, but you get the feeling he still wouldn’t learn to stop doing it.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Diego Godin (Uruguay): Not only did he score the winner when the whole game appeared to be running down a sinkhole of madness, but he held his team together under late Italian pressure. The defender scored the goal that won Atletico Madrid La Liga, netted in the Champions League final and has now scored a vital World Cup goal.

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PLAYER RATINGS

Italy: Buffon 7, De Sciglio 6, Chiellini 7, Darmian 6, Marchisio 4, Balotelli 5, Barzagli 6, Immobile 5, Bonucci 6, Pirlo 6, Verratti 6. Subs: Parolo 6, Thiago Motta 6, Cassano 6.

Uruguay: Muslera 6, Godin 8, M. Pereira 6, Rodriguez 6, Suarez 3, Gimenez 6, Lodeiro 6, Arevalo 5, Gonzalez 6, Cavani 5, Caceres 5.  Subs: M. Pereira 6, Stuani 5, Ramirez 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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