Italians happy with fighting draw

Published Add your comment

Italy coach Marcello Lippi hailed the defending champions' "heart" as they came from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw from their first World Cup Group F game against Paraguay.

The 2006 winners were shocked when Wigan-bound defender Antolin Alcaraz rose to head home a 39th-minute free-kick, but Italy's blushes were spared after Daniele De Rossi slid in to punish a mistake by Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar in the 63rd minute.

"We created little danger compared to the volume of play. Italy is there, we are there mentally, we are there with our heart, we are there fully," said Lippi.

"I'm very satisfied with our performance, I'm very satisfied with the approach to the World Cup. Our opponent was described as being a very fierce opponent so I'm very happy.

"We have to grow and continue the work we have done.

"We are only at the beginning, I am sure we will succeed.

"There was a good reaction on our part. We equalised. The only thing I regret is normally matches of this type we win."

Lippi's opposite number Gerardo Martino admitted his side could not compete with the defending champions' passing accuracy at Green Point Stadium.

"We weren't terribly accurate when we moved the ball, especially due to Italy's play," he said. "Only a few times were we able to move the ball because we knew they would be that kind of opponent. But we also made it hard for them. It was very close."

Martino said of the pitch, previously criticised for being slippery: "The pitch was excellent, but it is true that it was very fast. But it was tipping down and the rain made it even faster."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

World Cup

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again