Italy, Uruguay locked 0-0 at halftime in decider

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By AP

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Updated: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 01:15:13 EST

NATAL, Brazil (AP) — Italy and Uruguay were deadlocked 0-0 at halftime of a physical and decisive Group D match at the World Cup on Tuesday.

Italy needs only a draw to advance while Uruguay must win to reach the last 16.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon punched away the danger following a free kick from Luis Suarez after seven minutes, while Uruguay counterpart Fernando Muslera tipped over a free kick from Andrea Pirlo in the 12th.

Suarez also had an angled effort smothered by Buffon in the 33rd.

Mario Balotelli will miss Italy's next match if the Azzurri go through after being shown a yellow card for a needless foul on Alvaro Pereira in the 22nd. Balotelli nearly leapt over the midfielder, catching him on the back of the head with his boots.

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