Italy Defeats England 2-1 in Group D

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Italy defeated England 2-1 in its World Cup opener in Group D thanks to Mario Balotelli's winner in the draining heat of Manaus.

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Claudio Marchisio fired Italy ahead after 35 minutes but Daniel Sturridge levelled within three minutes.

Mario Balotelli made it 2-1 five minutes into the second half with a header.

Italian young midfielder Antonio Candreva was named Man of the Match.

"Up until just a few years ago England relied on long balls, but they are now a skilled team with excellent triangular passing," said Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.

"They have changed a lot and now have one of the strongest attacks in the World Cup. That is why I am so satisfied with the result," he added.

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