Suarez bite storm as Uruguay sink Italy

24 June 2014 06:16

Luis Suarez was at the centre of another biting storm as Uruguay sensationally dumped ten-man Italy out of the World Cup with a dramatic 1-0 victory on Tuesday.

Uruguay captain Diego Godin rose high to thump home an 81st-minute header to settle a gritty Group D battle in Natal with a victory that sees Italy knocked out in the first round for the second World Cup in a row.

But the shock of Italy's exit is almost certain to be overshadowed by an incredible incident involving Suarez just moments before Godin's winner.

Television replays showed Suarez -- who has twice been sanctioned for biting players in his career before -- appearing to attempt to sink his teeth into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder in an off-the-ball incident.

Chiellini leapt to his feet to remonstrate with Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, pulling his shirt off his shoulder to show where Suarez had attempted to bite him.

If taken up by FIFA disciplinary chiefs it will almost certainly mean the end of the tournament for Suarez, painted as a villain at the 2010 World Cup for his deliberate goal-line handball which denied Ghana a famous quarter-final victory.

If Suarez is found guilty of another biting incident, it is inconceivable he will face anything other than a lengthy ban.

In November 2010 he was banned for seven matches by the Netherlands FA after biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder when he played for Ajax.

In April 2013, he was given a 10-match ban by the English FA after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a match at Anfield.

He was also banned for eight matches in 2011 for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

Italy, who had Claudio Marchisio sent off in the second half join a growing number of European sides on the World Cup scrapheap after the exit of Spain, England, Croatia and Bosnia.

In Group D's other game in Belo Horizonte, Costa Rica ensured England's miserable World Cup ended with a whimper after a 0-0 draw.

The result means Costa Rica win the group with Uruguay finishing as runners-up.

Costa Rica will play the runners-up from Group C in Saturday's second round while Uruguay face the group winners.

The identity of their opponents will be confirmed later Tuesday in the final round of Group C matches.

Colombia need just a point against Japan in Cuiaba to secure top spot in Group C while Ivory Coast, who play Greece in Fortaleza, are favoured to join them.

A victory would guarantee the Ivorians a last 16 berth, whereas a draw would open the door to Japan, should they manage to beat Colombia.

Greece can still qualify by winning, but if Japan are also victorious, they would need to make up a difference of two goals.

Source: AFP

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