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1901: The teams are back out and the second half is under way. No substitutions yet.

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1852: Before the goal, Pletikosa made a great double save from Marchisio from close range. The goalkeeper was well beaten, though, by Pirlo, who has run the game from central midfield in the first half. He was one of Italy’s star players when the team won the 2006 World Cup and he looks to have lost none of his class six years on.

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1846: HALFTIME: Italy 1, Croatia 0

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1842: He’s been majestic all match and he’s just put the Italians ahead in the 39th minute. Andrea Pirlo curls an exquisite free kick over the wall and into the net at the near post. Pletikosa got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

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1840: GOAL! Italy 1, Croatia 0 (Pirlo)

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1833: First signs of life from Italy striker Antonio Cassano, who drags a shot wide from an acute angle. Cassano made the headlines in the build-up to the game when he said he hopes there are no homosexual players on the Italy team at the European Championship. Hours later, he issued a statement apologizing that his comments “created controversy and protests from gay associations.”

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1825: Still 0-0 after 25 minutes but this is a lively game and there have been some good early chances. Croatia has come back into it after a slow start.

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1818: Penalty shout from Croatia but referee Webb gets this decision spot on. Jelavic falls over as he challenges for a cross with Chiellini but it was the Croatia striker who did the pulling in the first place and is penalized.

Story Continues →