Costa Rica 3-1 Uruguay
England 1-2 Italy
England started their quest to win only their second World Cup on a low note after falling 2-1 to four time winners Italy at the Arena Manaus in Amazon. The Three Lions; winners on home soil in 1966 started the game brightly coming close through Danny Welbeck, Raheem Sterling and Glen Johnson but found themselves chasing the game thanks to Claudio Marchisio long range strike in the 35th minute.
The Juventus midfielder read Andrea Pirlo’s dummy well before sending a fierce shot that left England goalie Joe Hart with no chance but pick the ball from the net.
Roy Hodgson’s men however made a quick response equalizing through on form Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.
Sterling slid a good ball to Wyne Rooney down the left wing and the Manchester United striker laid a good pass for the on rushing Sturridge who made no mistake but tap home with goalie Salvatore Sirigu helpless.
It was 1-1 at half time but the Azzuri got what turned out to be the winner five minutes after recess as Mario Balotelli headed home Antonio Candreva’s cross.
Despite the many question The Three Lions asked in search for an equaliser, the Italians had answers.
Midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo had an opportunity to extend the lead beyond England’s reach but his magical free kick hit the cross bar.
The loss condemned the English to their first loss in a World Cup opener since they lost to Portugal in 1986 whilst it was Italy’s first victory in four World Cup games after failing to win any game at the 2010 edition.
In the other group game, two time winners and much fancied Uruguay fell to Costa Rica 3-1. The South Americans took a deserved lead through Edinson Cavani 24th minute penalty following Junior Diaz’s foul on skipper Diego Lugano but the Ticos had other ideas as second half goals from Arsenal striker Joel Campbell on loan at Olympiakos, Oscar Duarte and Urena gave them a 3-1 victory.
Against all odds, Costa Rica lead the group on day one with Italy second whilst England and Uruguay follow in that order.