Italy coach Pierluigi Casiraghi has conceded that his side's hopes of winning the UEFA European Under-21 Championship will hinge on Friday's match with hosts Sweden.
The Azzurrini kicked off their campaign against Serbia in Helsingborg last night but could only manage a 0-0 draw, while the Swedes thumped Belarus 5-1 in their opener.
"It was a tough game, really close, between two well-matched teams," he said. "We had a few chances when we were in the ascendancy in the first half, and then again during a period of the second. We played well overall.
"But Serbia had a great spell towards the end where they might have scored. Tactically, we did well. Our final ball was missing, though, so there is room for improvement."
Casiraghi has stated the importance of the next match and the threat Sweden will provide his side.
"We'll certainly have to improve our play in the last third of the pitch against a physical Sweden side next time out.
"Sweden are a really good team, and with Rasmus Elm and Marcus Berg hitting form, they have really come on.
"There are six more points to play for in the group. Yes, Sweden are two up on us after the first matchday, but I think we and Serbia will be challenging right until the end of the group."
The five-times European champions conclude the group stage when they play Belarus on June 23.
[UEFA Euro U21 Championships 2009]