Two former World Cup champions arrived at Estadio das Dunas in Natal. Only one former champion advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup.
In a winner-move-on Group D matchup, Uruguay defeated Italy 1-0 on Tuesday to prolong its stay in Brazil. After a scoreless first half, the match delivered an unforgettable conclusion that included a red card, a late goal, an apparent bite and the resignation of a coach.
The only goal of the match came in the 81st minute when Uruguay defender Diego Godin directed a header past Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon following a corner kick.
(GIF via @FlyByKnite)
While that tally would be the one that sent Uruguay into the next round and sent Italy home, it would be overshadowed by an incident that occurred just moments earlier. In the 80th minute, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the penalty area.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 24, 2014
The late drama began when Italy, who could have advanced with a draw, was reduced to 10 men in the 59th minute. Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio was shown a red card for kicking Uruguay's Egidio Arevalo Rios as they fought for the ball. The official was just steps from both players when the incident occurred and acted decisively.
"The red for Marchisio and not sending off Suarez were ridiculous," Chiellini said after the defeat, via The Associated Press. "It was absolutely clear. There's even a mark."
With the win, Uruguay advances as the runner-up in Group D. Costa Rica secured the top spot in Group D with a 0-0 draw against England that was also played on Wednesday.