Italy Coach Paolo Nicolato consoled his team after their controversial U20 World Cup exit to Ukraine. “It might’ve been an error, but not an injustice.”
The Azzurrini were trailing 1-0 to 10-man Ukraine when Gianluca Scamacca chested down a cross, turned and volleyed in during stoppages.
It would’ve sent the semi-final to extra time, but the referee viewed it on VAR and disallowed the goal for a supposed Scamacca elbow on his marker.
“It was a difficult match and we knew it would be decided on individual incidents,” Nicolato told Rai Sport.
“We didn’t allow them many chances, but we didn’t create enough either, as Ukraine are very strong in defence. I am proud of my lads and we’ve done so well in this competition.”
The interviewer pushed Nicolato on the ‘injustice’ of the disallowed goal, but the Coach remained calm.
“Referees are always right. From the touchline, it looked as if he’d just held up his arm to protect the ball, rather than to foul anyone. It might’ve been an error, but not an injustice.”
Striker Andrea Pinamonti was distraught at the final whistle and in tears during his interview.
“It really hurts. It hurts so much because we believed, we’d scored at the end and it was a good goal, but this is football. We gave everything we had and at times, that’s just the way it goes.”