Thursday June 14 2012
Buffon: 'Italy not clinical enough'

Gianluigi Buffon insists Italy “play good football and just need to be more clinical when the scoring opportunities arise.”

The Azzurri were held to a second consecutive 1-1 draw despite dominating the first half against Croatia.

“We put in the performance and the desire to win, but we’re in a situation where it still depends on us. If we win the last game, then we can go through,” said the goalkeeper.

“We could’ve finished more of our chances in the first half, as we had at least two or three great ones, but in a European Championship you’re facing tough opponents.

“It was a shame getting this draw, especially as the defence had worked so well. We paid a heavy price for one of the few opportunities Croatia had.

“Andrea Barzagli is doing well and recovering quickly, which is another weapon we can count on.

“The team’s consistency also depends on the way we face games and play them. Objectively, I feel that this team is playing good football and just needs to be more clinical when the scoring opportunities arise.

“When matches are so evenly balanced, we really cannot afford to give anything away. We will do everything we can to make the Italians proud.”

Buffon was at Euro 2004 when a 2-2 draw between Denmark and Sweden knocked Italy out in the group phase.

An identical situation could play out in Euro 2012 Group C if Spain beat Ireland this evening, as a 2-2 draw with Croatia would send both through.

“In this case the two teams are of different quality, in that Spain are absolutely the favourites and strongest of all.

“Their players have a pedigree that wouldn’t – in my view – allow them to be considered anti-sporting or become a laughing stock around the world for getting a 2-2.”

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