England put on a thrilling display of attacking football, but they emerged from their journey into the jungle with a 2-1 defeat in their opening World Cup Group D game in Manaus.
Header from Mario Balotelli in the 50th minute, just after the break settled an entertaining game after Daniel Sturridge had levelled Claudio Marchisio’s fine strike in the 37th minute. Claudio Marchisio had scored first for Italy, sending a long shot through a crowded area and past a diving Joe Hart in the 35th minute.
Balotelli said “We won, but now let’s keep our feet on the ground, otherwise we’re not going anywhere. This was a very difficult because England are a good team and there was the climate as well ,We suffered, but then that’s typical for Italy. The important thing is to win. “
England coach Roy Hodgson said “We all need time to digest what happened on the field, my gut feeling is that we did very good things. There were some very good individual performances.”
Both the teams complained about the heat and humidity in Manaus. According to FIFA, it was 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) with humidity at 61 percent for the match.