Register Login Scores

International

Italy Drained After Hot Japanese Encounter

Italy and Japan’s thrilling 4-3 encounter at the Confederations Cup was a taxing affair for both teams.

The Samurai Blue will consider themselves desperately unlucky to have succumbed to the Azzurri, after giving the pedigreed Europeans a nasty case of Asian tremors.

Has a team ever rapped the woodwork so many times, with so much at stake, in the dying moments of tightly wound affair?

And did Japan deservedly concede a handball penalty that ripped the wind from their sails?

Perhaps the only consolation Japan can take from their heroic defeat was the wretched state it left their fortunate vanquishers in.

Italy will probably have to face Spain in the semi-finals, if La Furia Roja win Group B as expected.

And coach Cesare Prandelli admits his is a team of walking wounded, after their gritty come-from-behind win over plucky Japan, and ahead of their final group encounter against improving hosts Brazil.

“This is an interesting tournament but perhaps there should be more rest days," a relieved by drained Prandelli said last night.

"This is a very hot country and the players need more time to get their strength back."

"We are focused on how many (players) we can recover [to play against Brazil]," he added.

"The Brazil game is an important game, we can't underestimate it. So my problem is to get some of the physical fitness back. We have to play the next game with the same kind of determination and physical fitness.

"We need to reflect and think, because as usual, if you are good at imposing the right pace and pressuring opponents than you can think of using your strength throughout the game. But when you can't pressure your opponent your lack of fitness is telling."

Meanwhile, Japan boss, Alberto Zaccheroni, was left to lament what he calls the standard errors that seem to let the Samurai Blue down.

The Italian should be proud of his team’s valiant efforts, but with victory having been snatched from his grasp, he knows his players have been taught a painful lesson.

"As usual we let in one goal from a free kick and another was an own goal," Zaccheroni sighed.

"These details are a constant aspect of our matches and so we have to try and remedy these problems before next year's World Cup.

"When you face teams like Brazil, Italy or Mexico, when you make a mistake they score. These teams can teach you a lot and we must learn this lesson." 

3 comments

Top 5

Billiat, Margeman In Top 10 Of Ajax/Downs Business

1 May 22, 2020 02:35 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

The 10 Richest Footballers In The World

7 May 20, 2020 08:32 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Breaking: Chiefs Announce New Player Deal

77 May 22, 2020 04:38 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

The Six Stars Messi Said His Son 'Really Likes'

4 May 23, 2020 08:31 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Agent On Bucs' Motshwari: It’s Just A Matter Of Time

9 May 21, 2020 03:04 PM in Orlando Pirates

The Six Stars Messi Said His Son 'Really Likes'

4 May 23, 2020 08:31 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

The 10 Richest Footballers In The World

7 May 20, 2020 08:32 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Messi's Cheapest Ride Vs His Most Expensive Luxury Vehicle

3 May 20, 2020 06:00 PM in Stars & Their Cars

Ofori: Why I Didn’t Sign For Sundowns

47 May 20, 2020 07:02 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Chiefs’ Possible Wishlist For 2021?

6 May 20, 2020 03:35 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

The 10 Richest Footballers In The World

28 Nov 24, 2019 07:17 PM in World News

Bucs’ Potential Wishlist Revealed?

8 May 21, 2020 01:05 PM in Orlando Pirates

The Highest-Paid Footballers In The World Today

11 Mar 29, 2020 07:16 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch