Italy vs. Costa Rica: Final score 0-1, Bryan Ruiz stuns Azzurri

Costa Rica's dream continues as they booked a place in the knockout stages with a stunning victory over Italy, knocking out England in the process.

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

Costa Rica were widely expected to be the whipping boys of Group D, but they have produced yet another stunning result to beat Italy and qualify for the knockout stages, eliminating England in the process.

Costa Rica produced a fine performance and were well worth their victory, with Bryan Ruiz's header doing the damage against an Italy side which looked sluggish and pedestrian all game.

Celso Borges had the first chance of the game as the reinstated Gianluigi Buffon got nowhere near a Costa Rican corner, but the midfielder's header was poor and over the bar.

The opening exchanges continued to be tense, although an Italy goal appeared imminent when Mario Balotelli first lobbed Keylor Navas only to see his effort land wide, before bringing a fine save out of the keeper with a fierce effort after being picked out by Andrea Pirlo.

Yet as the half drew on, Costa Rica grew in confidence. Oscar Duarte nodded narrowly over from a set piece before there was a hugely controversial moment as Giorgio Chiellini appeared to bundle over Joel Campbell in the area -- a clear penalty, but the referee opted not to award it, much to the chagrin of the Central American underdogs. Yet it proved to matter little. Just two minutes later, Junior Diaz produced a magnificent cross from the left wing for Bryan Ruiz to head past Buffon.

Italy got off to a decent start for the second half, but could simply not break down Costa Rica's determined midfield and defence, with the Azzurri mostly being reduced to long-range efforts. Darmian, playing at left-back, cut inside to send a rasping drive towards goal, but Navas was equal to it and tipped it away.

Despite the introduction of Antonio Cassano, Alessio Cerci and Lorenzo Insigne, Italy simply could not find any real creativity and suffered their first defeat of the tournament. The game against Uruguay will now effectively be a knockout game for the Azzurri, whose World Cup hopes are already in danger.

Italy: Buffon, Darmian, Chiellini, Barzagli, Abate, de Rossi, Motta (Cassano 46'), Pirlo; Marchisio (Cerci 69'), Candreva (Insigne 57'), Balotelli

Costa Rica: Navas, Umana, Diaz, Gonzalez, Duarte, Tejeda (Cubero 68'), Bolanos, Borges, Gamboa, Ruiz (Brenes 81'), Campbell (Urena 74')

Goals: Ruiz 44'

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