- POSTED: 25 Jun 2014 02:19
- UPDATED: 25 Jun 2014 16:38
Uruguay kept their World Cup dream alive with a 1-0 win over Italy in Natal on Tuesday that sent the four-time champions crashing out of the competition.
NATAL: Luis Suarez soured Uruguay's World Cup joy by creating another biting storm as the South Americans eliminated Italy from the World Cup on Tuesday.
Skipper Diego Godin scored the only goal in Natal to give Uruguay a 1-0 win that put them into the World Cup second round behind Group D winners Costa Rica. Italy went out and coach Cesare Prandelli immediately quit.
But Suarez stole the headlines again after Italian centre-back Giorgio Chiellini accused Suarez of sinking his teeth into his shoulder.
"He bit me it's clear I still have the mark," Chiellini told Italian television.
"The referee should have blown his whistle and given him a red card, also because he was simulating," added the Juventus player.
Television replays showed Suarez -- who has twice been sanctioned for biting players -- appearing to sink his teeth into Chiellini's shoulder in an off-the-ball incident.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez played down the incident and got angry with the media when pressed on the issue.
"I'd like to see the images first before making any comment. If it happened, then the referee probably didn't see it," said Tabarez.
"Despite mistakes he (Suarez) has made, he is the target of certain media, a certain press.
"It seems to me there's a certain animosity towards him."
Italy finished the game with 10 men after Claudio Marchisio was shown a straight red card for dragging his studs down Egidio Arevalo's shin.
It was the second World Cup in a row the Azzurri, winner sin 2006, crashed out in the group stages. Prandelli reacted to the defeat by announcing his resignation.
"It's sad," said goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon. "We've failed and obviously there's huge dissatisfaction."
Italy required only a draw against Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas in Natal to go through this time but defeat proved fatal as Costa Rica got the point they needed to ensure top spot in Group D with a 0-0 draw against England.
Prior to the game, strikers Suarez and Edinson Cavani were described by Prandelli as one of the most potent strike duos at the World Cup, but they were kept on a tight rein during a nervous first half.
Italy suffered a blow when Mario Balotelli was cautioned for a high tackle on Alvaro Pereira, who had also been knocked briefly unconscious against England.
Balotelli's yellow card means he will miss Italy's next match, although that will now be after the World Cup.
Paris Saint Germain midfielder Marco Verratti was Italy's star performer.
On the half hour he dispossessed Cavani to launch Balotelli but the striker failed to release as Immobile ran through into an offside position.
Minutes later Andrea Pirlo's smart short pass found Matteo De Sciglio on the left but the wingback's pinpoint delivery to the unmarked Immobile was volleyed off target.
Italy were composed, but minutes before half-time Buffon had to make two critical saves to keep the scoresheet clean, first stopping Suarez's snap-shot down low with his left arm and then denying Nicolas Lodeiro from the follow-up.
Prandelli replaced Balotelli with midfielder Marco Parolo at half-time, a tactical switch that suggested the Azzurri would happily hold on for the scoreless draw.
On 58 minutes Cristian Rodriguez sent a great chance wide of the target after a smart one-two with Suarez on the left flank.
Moments later, Marchisio was given his marching orders for his challenge on Arevalo.
The decision had the expected impact, and after Suarez burst through confidently on 65 minutes Buffon had to get down low to block with his arm.
Italy were still finding space, though, and a Pirlo through ball found Immobile only for the striker to be charged down as he was about to pull the trigger.
Prandelli replaced Immobile with Antonio Cassano, but despite Italy again finding opportunities on the counter, Uruguay's insistence deep in Italian territory finally paid off.
The hosts gave away a corner, which Godin met with conviction to leave Buffon with no chance nine minutes from time.
Italy rallied in desperation in the dying minutes, when Buffon ran up the field to leave his net empty, but to no avail.