MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 14: Leighton Baines of England and Matteo Darmian of Italy battle for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia on June 14, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)


Manaus, Brazil - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said his side's midfield domination secured the crucial 2-1 World Cup win against England on Saturday.

“I am clearly satisfied with this victory as this match against England was very difficult, they are a very good team,” Prandelli said after the Group D win.

“We had a very good basis in midfield,” he added.

Prandelli did not pick out Mario Balotelli's first World Cup goal for special praise, however.

“There was no individual performance to pick out, but that of the whole group,” he said.

Balotelli said it was a “fantastic” feeling to get his first World Cup goal. “I dedicate it to my whole family,” he said.

The AC Milan striker said the heat had been “extreme”. “The climate is like that, we will have to see with each match. For the moment we are OK.”

Balotelli scored the winner after Claudio Marchisio had put Italy ahead but Daniel Sturridge equalised within two minutes. - Sapa-AFP