Sunday, 20 June 2010

[WC2010] Lippi bemoans All Whites draw

Marcello Lippi believes his Italy side did not have 'any luck' following their shock draw against New Zealand in World Cup Group F.

The world champions suffered an embarrassing 1-1 draw with the minnows from Oceania, a result which complicates their chances of progressing to the knockout stage.

New Zealand, who lost all three of their matches on their previous appearance in 1982, took the lead through striker Shane Smeltz in the seventh minute only for Vincenzo Iaquinta to level through a penalty later in the first half.

Lippi refused to be critical of his Azzurri side, taking the positives from another largely disappointing display.

Lippi told Rai TV: "We're just sorry we didn't win a match we could have.

"If we didn't win against New Zealand it's our fault. Once again the opponent scored on their first chance. We were able to control the game after that, but this was a match we should have won."

"They weren't as lucid or as enterprising as they should have been," Lippi said of his players.

"Again we were very unfortunate. It's not like we didn't do great things, although you always need to do more."

The 62-year-old refused to blame his attack and started with the same side that drew 1-1 against Paraguay in their opening game.

Italy will be hoping to call upon veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo if the Milan star recovers from a long-term calf-injury to face Slovakia in the crucial final group match.

"It's not a problem with our attack, but we do have to improve," admitted Lippi.

"I hope he (Pirlo) can give us a hand. He is a great player, but at the moment, he isn't ready."

Source: Sky Sports

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