Luis Suárez held his teeth after apparently sinking them into the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini.Uruguay on Tuesday clinched a 1-0 victory over Italy to progress to the first knock-out round of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Italy, however, have every reason to feel hard done by, for the decisive goal was preceded by yet another controversial incident involving Luis Suárez. Television footage shows Suárez leaning into the shoulder of Italy's Giorgio Chiellini and, moments later, the infuriated Chiellini running after the referee, pulling down his shirt to show what he says were bite marks on his shoulder.

The referee, Mexico's Marco Rodriguez, took no action against the Uruguayan superstar.

In a post-match interview with Rai, Chiellini insisted that Suárez had bit him. “He bit me. The marks are still clear. The referee should have shown him the red card,” the 29-year-old defender stated.

Óscar Tabárez, the manager of Uruguay, said that he did not see the incident. “I want to see the footage. It seems that not even the referee saw [the incident], so I have nothing else to say.”

Suárez is no stranger to controversy – or even biting allegations. One year ago in April, the English Football Association handed the Liverpool forward a ten-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanović during a Premier League clash. In November 2010, he bit Otman Bakkal of PSV during a Eredivisie match while playing for Ajax Amsterdam.

In addition, the hot-blooded forward was handed an eight-match ban in 2011 for racially abusing Manchester United's left-back Patrice Evra.

On Tuesday, Italy dominated proceedings on the pitch until the 59th minute, when midfielder Claudio Marchisio received the marching orders for catching Egidio Arévalo with his studs. Uruguay managed to turn its one-man advantage into a goal in the 81st minute, when defender Diego Godín rose the highest to head in a corner from Gastón Ramírez.

Italy have thereby failed to advance from the group stage at two consecutive World Cups for the first time since the 1960s. Uruguay, in turn, will face Colombia on 28 June while Costa Rica – the other team to progress from Group D – will face Greece on 29 June in the round of 16.

Roope Visuri – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Daniel Garcia / AFP