2014 Runners-Up Book Place In Semi-Finals

Italy survived the second-half dismissal of Antonio Nocerino to beat South Korea 2-1 in Rostov this afternoon and become the first nation to book their place in the semi-finals. Italy led through a Giuseppe Rossi brace, one from the spot, before Son Heung-Min pulled a goal back before half-time.

The match came into life with 20 minutes played when Giuseppe Rossi’s diving header got the faintest of touches to a Giovinco cross and the ball crept into the bottom corner. Ten minutes later he had the chance of a second when the referee consulted VAR after Davide Astori tangled with Hisao Saitô at a corner.

Giovinco’s delivery was initially headed away by Saitô, but collected by Astori who went down under a challenge as Lee Chung-Yong cleared the ball away. A penalty looked harsh on first glance but Saitô took all of the man and none of the ball, and Rossi subsequently slotted home the spot-kick.

South Korea, ranked 35th in the world, grabbed a fortunate goal ten minutes before the break when Son Heung-Min flicked his foot at a low corner delivery in by Kim Bo-Kyung and somehow the ball found itself past Forestieri on the near post.

Nocerino picked-up the first Italian yellow card of the game just 90 seconds after the interval when he was late on Kim, and ten minutes later he was shown a second. Antonio Nocerino’s challenge on Lee was a strong one but played the ball. The referee disagreed and showed yellow, then red, at the AC Milan midfielder.

Italy will play the winners of tomorrow’s all-South American affair between Argentina and Chile.

                  SOUTH KOREA 1-2 ITALY
                    HM Son 36     Rossi 23, 31 pen
                                  Nocerino s/o 57

                       TG Lee     Nocerino
                        SY Ki