Mario Balotelli was shown his second yellow card of the group stage when he tried to jump over Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira, but ended up giving him a shin to the back of the head instead. Pereira, who was controversially allowed to play on after suffering a head injury during Uruguay's 2-1 win over England, was able to continue after the 23rd minute challenge/jump stunt, but Balotelli was taken off at halftime for Marco Parolo.
It was clear from the start of the match that Balotelli was not at his best and with the early yellow card, a sending off seemed inevitable. So with Italy needing a draw to advance to the knockout stage, manager Cesare Prandelli went the cautous route and removed Balotelli after just 45 minutes of play. In the 59th minute, it was Claudio Marchiso who was shown a red card for raking his studs across Egidio Arevalo's knee.
If Italy do advance, Balotelli will not be available for their round of 16 match due to yellow card accumulation.