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Brazil 2014: Costa Rica stun Italy

Bryan Ruiz headed his side into a 1-0 win with a 44th minute goal in their Group D clash.

FILE: AC Milan and Italian national team striker Mario Balotelli. Picture: AFP.

RECIFE BRAZIL - Costa Rica reached the last-16 of the World Cup for the first time in 24 years after shocking Italy 1-0 on Friday, a result which also knocked England out of the competition.

Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz headed his side into a 1-0 halftime lead against four-times World Cup winners Italy with a 44th-minute goal in their Group D clash on Friday.

Ruiz met Junior Duiz's cross from the left with a header past keeper Gianluigi Buffon that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.

As a result, England are eliminated and Italy-Uruguay on Tuesday becomes a direct shoot-out for knockout qualification.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli earlier twice wasted opportunities to break the deadlock as Costa Rica, who began their campaign with a surprise defeat of Uruguay, again showed they are not in Brazil to make up the numbers.

Both countries won their respective tournament openers, with Italy edging England 2-1, while Costa Rica defeated Uruguay 3-1.

Video: Winner takes it all.

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