Giuseppe Rossi’s thirteenth goal for his country was enough to seal a late win for Italy, who remain on course for their fifth World Cup victory. The Italians, who kept their fourth clean sheet in six games in Brazil, weren’t ever particularly troubled by Croatia, with Sirigu only having to make the one save.
The decisive moment came with six minutes left of normal time. Bonucci was on-hand to clear from inside the Italian six-yard box just as Jelavic looked to have beaten his marker to a cross from the left. Rossi collected the ball on halfway and broke forwards with Balotelli.
Balotelli and Forestieri played a neat one-two before the former played through Giuseppe Rossi who took a touch into the box before unleashing a fierce low drive past Blazevic from 15 yards.
Three Italian players were booked during the match, but fortunately everyone will be available for Sunday’s Final against Brazil or Netherlands. Croatia will play the defeated team from tomorrow’s Semi-Final in the Third-Place Playoff in Brasilia on Saturday.
FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014 MATCH 61: SEMI-FINAL CROATIA 0-1 ITALY Rossi 84 Sao Paulo
DORTMUND PLAYER WATCH: Ivan Perisic (Croatia) - Substitute ON, 85th minute. 4/4 passing, fouled once, 2 shots off target. Rating n/a