England fall to narrow defeat in opener

Jack Wilshere played the final 17 minutes as England were beaten 2-1 by Italy in Manaus on Saturday.

After Uruguay's shock defeat to Costa Rica, both sides came into this game knowing a victory would go a long way to securing their place in the last 16 of World Cup.

England began brightly with Raheem Sterling sending a fierce shot just wide and Jordan Henderson forcing Salvatore Sirigu into a smart save.

But Italy took the lead on 35 minutes from a well-worked corner. Andrea Pirlo's dummy set up Claudio Marchisio and his low strike found the bottom corner.

However, the Three Lions produced an emphatic response two minutes later. Sterling's incisive pass found Wayne Rooney, who picked out Daniel Sturridge to prod home from close range.

Italy ended the half on top as Phil Jagielka headed off the line from Mario Balotelli and Antonio Candreva hit the post from a tight angle.

The Azzuri regained the lead five minutes into the second half when Balotelli met Candreva's cross at the far post and nodded the ball past Joe Hart.

Wilshere replaced Henderson with 17 minutes left but struggled to make an impact against a stubborn Italian defence.

Roy Hodgson's side take on Uruguay next in Sao Paolo on Thursday, June 19.

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