Saturday June 22 2013
Prandelli: 'Azzurri deserved draw'

Cesare Prandelli felt Italy deserved a draw against Brazil in tough circumstances and praised their “excellent reaction.”

The Azzurri were beaten 4-2 by hosts Brazil in Salvador, but were without Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi, then lost Ignazio Abate and Riccardo Montolivo in the opening half-hour.

“We had a great performance in the second half and deserved an equaliser, but against great players it takes nothing for them to punish you,” the Coach told Rai Sport.

“I am very satisfied, as we played the second half with great character. The reaction was excellent, we attacked the space and on 3-2 we could’ve drawn level.

“We were forced into two early changes, so it was tough, but after the break we saw our system and it worked.”

Italy will therefore face the winners of Group B on June 27, who save for miracles will be Spain.

“We are looking for growth and these games help us grow a great deal, I believe. Spain are the best team in the world, so if we face Spain then we will recover our fitness levels and play Spain.”

This was only the second time Gigi Buffon has conceded four goals in an Italy game, the other being the Euro 2012 Final against Spain.

In the other Group A result, Mexico beat Japan 2-1.

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