Italy's team line up for a team photo before their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match against Japan at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife June 19, 2013. (Bottom row L to R) Mattia De Sciglio, Emanuele Giaccherini, Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi, (top row L to R) Alberto Aquilani, Giorgio Chiellini, Mario Balotelli, Andrea Barzagli, Christian Maggio and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. (Photo : REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) )
Uruguay and Italy will contest third place of the Confederations Cup 2013 when the two sides meet on Sunday afternoon.
Uruguay is coming off its best performance in a 2-1 loss against Brazil. The Celestes interrupted Brazil's fast pace and nearly pushed the game into extra time.
Now they will take on an Italian side that lost to Spain in penalties. Despite having an extra day of rest, Uruguay's Luis Suarez knows the danger that the Italians present.
"Even if they do not have Balotelli, there are a lot of players of the same quality, like [Sebastian] Giovinco," Suarez told Globoesporte. "Besides, Italy are always the same. They love to exploit the space left by opponents. If we do not play a great game, they can hurt us."
Meanwhile the Italians are overcoming the pain of losing to Spain in the penalty shootout.
"Only one team can win when it gets to penalties and, even if it hurts, we have to accept it," said Italian goalie and Captain Gianluigi Buffon according to Football Italia. "I'm really disappointed that I didn't get to the Iniesta penalty. It was really close to my hand and had I stopped that then we would perhaps be talking about something else now."
However he added, "We will leave here with our heads held high. I want to underline that, when it counts, Italy always respond... I've always said that we deliver because of our technical ability and our affection for the shirt. That allows us to overcome obstacles that, at first sight, seem insurmountable."
However, he noted that losing in the semifinals is not the end of the line.
"The Final would have been nice, you don't get the chance to play such a game in the Maracana every day,"Buffon noted. "But had we got there then we would have perhaps had to play on all fours...Now we will give our all against Uruguay, because our holidays have not started yet."
The two sides have met seven times in their history; each team has won twice and drawn three times. Uruguay won the most recent match on Nov. 15, 2011 by the score of 1-0.
Prediction: Uruguay pulls off a 3-2 upset win.
Start Time: 3 PM EST
TV: ESPN2, Univision