Draw leaves Italy and Croatia fancying their chances
Defiant Italy coach Cesare Prandelli insists the Azzurri still have every chance of qualifying for the Euro 2012 knockout stages despite having to settle for their second consecutive Group C draw.
The Italians will go into their final group game against the already eliminated Republic of Ireland knowing only a win will be good enough to give them a chance of reaching the last eight.
Prandelli’s men looked well set for victory over Croatia when Andrea Pirlo put them ahead with a stunning free-kick. However, Mario Mandzukic netted his third goal in two games to salvage a point for his side. Prandelli said: “We’re still convinced we can get through. Mathematically we are not out of it. We need to play well, but we have wasted an opportunity here. I don’t think we lack character in any way, shape or form. But we do struggle, there is a drop in our level at the 60th minute.
“In terms of the last two games, at that stage of the game we lack fresh legs. We need to rest up after this, we need to see how we manage our energy levels.”
Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said: “I’m really satisfied that we’ve got four points from the two games. It could be even better but four points is optimal, realistic and now we have a real chance to go through.”
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