Prandelli rues Italy's missed chances

Reuters, Thursday 14 Jun 2012

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli rued his team's missed chances after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Croatia, leaving them with just two points from two games in Group C

Cesare Prandelli

The Italians created several openings in the first half but strikers Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano were unable to convert.

Although Andrea Pirlo's superb free-kick gave the Azzurri the lead six minutes before the break, the advantage was wiped out by Mario Mandzukic's 72nd minute equalizer.

"We should have wrapped it up earlier for sure but we are still in it, we are alive and we will fight to the end," Prandelli told Raisport.

"We had some good chances in the first half and could have done better. We missed a bit of energy and grit," he said.

Prandelli was also unhappy with the way his defense allowed Mandzukic to head home a cross unchallenged.

"In the second half they started putting up high balls, putting us under pressure but without creating many chances.

"Then we conceded a goal we shouldn't have with a cross that was quite predictable but the lads stuck at it and fought to the end searching for that victory," he said.

Italy face former coach Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland team in their final group game.

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