Rio de Janiero: When Mario Balotelli puts his mind to it, he can be unstoppable.
His winning goal in Italy's 2-1 victory over Mexico at the Confederations Cup proved his class, though he needs to maintain his focus even after scoring such goals.
In the 78th minute Sunday, Balotelli collected a perfectly lobbed pass from Emanuele Giaccherini and muscled his way between two defenders to break a deadlock in the first official match at the Maracana Stadium.
Much like at last year's European Championship, when he scored both goals in a 2-1 semifinal win over Germany and pulled off his shirt after one of them, Balotelli reacted by stripping off his jersey to show his muscular physique, earning an automatic yellow card.
If Balotelli picks up another yellow card in Italy's next match against Japan, he'll miss the final group game against host Brazil.
"I didn't know about this rule with the two yellows," Balotelli said. "Next time I won't do it."
Perhaps worried that he might pick up a second yellow, as in last week's match against the Czech Republic, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli replaced Balotelli in the 85th with Alberto Gilardino.
"Mario has to stop showing off his muscles. The yellow cards count," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said. "Anyhow, well done."