Balotelli scores as Italy defeat Mexico
Confederations Cup: Mario Balotelli struck the winning goal as Italy beat Mexico 2-1
Italy beat Jose Manuel De La Torre's Mexico last night, running out 2-1 winners in group A of the Confederations Cup.
Mario Balotelli scored the winner, holding up the ball well on the edge of the Italy area before firing past Corona after a weak challenge from Mexico defender Rodriguez.
But it didn't go Italy's way all throughout the game, after a brief Mexico revival towards the end of the second half.
Both teams started well, with the game having an open, fast tempo to it. With the likes of Mario Balotelli and Emanuele Giaccherini lining up for Italy and Javier Hernandez and Andres Guardado for Mexico, goals were expected and goals arrived.
It was Italy who opened the deadlock in the 27th minute, through a trademark Andreas Pirlo free-kick. Balotelli was fouled 30 yards away from goal, and 37-year-old Pirlo curled the ball into top-left corner, despite the best efforts from Corona in the Mexico goal.
But Italy failed to build on their lead, and within five minutes "La Verde" were level. Juventus centre-back Andrea Barzagli found himself on the wrong side of former Tottenham player Giovanni Dos Santos, and with the winger closing down on goal, Barzagli bundled him over.
Lucky to escape a red card, Italy watched as Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez scored from the spot, to bring the scores level.
The second half followed, with neither team finding the tempo that made the first half so exciting.
But it was Prandelli's team who found a winner in the 79th minute, Mario Balotelli outmuscling Rodriguez and firing in to give Italy three points in their first group A game.
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