Mexico v Italy, 16 June 2013

Score2-1 to Italy
RefereeEnrique Osses
CompetitionFIFA Confederations Cup Group A
VenueMaracana, Rio de Janeiro
Attendance73,123
Match Report Italy began the match on the front foot. Early on Balotelli was denied by goalkeeper Corona. Shortly after Giaccherini went close. Mexico's first opening came when Dos Santos found Guardado inside the penatly area. The left-winger's shot clipped the bar on the way over. After Balotelli was fouled, Andrea Pirlo opened the scoring with a curling 25 yard free-kick. The Italians looked as if they were taking control of the game. Italy then inexplicably gifted Mexico a way back into the game. Barzagli was caught on the ball by Dos Santos then proceeded to bring the Mexican forward down inside the box. A penalty and yellow card was given, although the Italian defender was lucky to stay on the pitch. Hernandez calmly converted the spot kick. The second half began in an open fashion. Montolivo had the first clear chance when he poked into the keeper's arms from close range. The referee ignored Italian appeals as Balotelli went down after a challenge from Moreno. The Mexican defender looked to have pulled the Italian striker down as he went clear. He then deservedly restored Italy's lead. Wrestling clear of Rodriguez, Balotelli forced the ball home inside the box. Mexico failed to create too much in the last period of the match. Perhaps their best effort came from long range through substitute Jimenez. After this opening win Italy will feel confident of progressing. Mexico will now have to get a result against the hosts Brazil to keep their hopes alive. Preview Kick-off: 4.00pm local (8.00pm BST) Mexico and Italy will kick off their campaigns in the Maracana. Italy will be looking to continue their 6 match unbeaten run. Cesare Prandelli's side will likely possess a mixture of youth and experience. The likes of young full back Mattia De Sciglio could be given the chance to shine. Italy will go with an experienced midfield three of De Rossi, Pirlo and Marchisio in their narrow 4-3-2-1 system. Balotelli will lead the line. Mexico will be looking to attacking threesome Hernandez, Dos Santos and Guardado to cause an upset. Ex-Fulham man Carlos Salcido with 113 caps is amongst one of the more experienced members of the squad who will likely play at left-back.

1  Mexico

Manager: Jose Manuel de la Torre

2  Italy

Manager: Cesare Prandelli

Goals:

Javier Hernández penalty 33 P

Goals:

Andrea Pirlo 27 G
Mario Balotelli 78 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper José Corona
Defender Gerardo Flores
Defender Héctor Moreno
Defender Carlos Salcido
Midfielder Javier Aquino
Midfielder Andres Guardado
Midfielder Gerardo Torrado
Midfielder Jesus Zavala
Midfielder/Forward Giovani dos Santos

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
Defender Ignazio Abate
Defender Andrea Barzagli
Midfielder Daniele De Rossi
Midfielder Claudio Marchisio
Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo
Forward Mario Balotelli
Forward Andrea Pirlo

Substitutions:

Hiram Mier for Javier Aquino 53
Raúl Jiménez for Jesus Zavala 86

Substitutions:

Alessio Cerci for Claudio Marchisio 68
Alberto Gilardino for Mario Balotelli 86
Alberto Aquilani for Emanuele Giaccherini 88

Cards:

Héctor Moreno 47 Y
Giovani dos Santos 58 Y

Cards:

Andrea Barzagli 32 Y
Mario Balotelli 78 Y
Daniele De Rossi 81 Y

On the bench:

Defender Hiram Mier
Forward Raúl Jiménez

On the bench:

Midfielder Alberto Aquilani
Forward Alessio Cerci