Winner takes all for Italy-Uruguay, curtains for England
Fellow former champions Italy and Uruguay clash in Natal on Tuesday to decide who will join surprise package Costa Rica in qualifying for the last 16 from World Cup Group D.sports Updated: Jun 24, 2014 12:45 IST
Fellow former champions Italy and Uruguay clash in Natal on Tuesday to decide who will join surprise package Costa Rica in qualifying for the last 16 from World Cup Group D.
The two sides sit on three points after two games, both having lost to Costa Rica and beaten England. Italy only need to draw, however, due to their superior goal difference.
The good news for Uruguay is that deadly striker Luis Suarez, who missed their first match through injury but came back to sink England with two goals, is fit to play.
Already-eliminated England will try to salvage some pride against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte. But the Central Americans are on a high, aiming to secure top spot and set themselves up against the Group C runners-up in the last 16.
Group C leaders Colombia, another Latin American side challenging the region's traditional powers, have qualified for the last 16 with six points but will look to clinch top spot when they take on Japan, who have one point, in Cuiaba.
The Japanese could still qualify with a win but Ivory Coast, currently second on three points, are the favourites before they face Greece, who have one point, in Fortaleza. The Group C winners will face the Group D runners-up in the last 16.