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Italy response worries Russia's Cirilo

Published: Monday 6 February 2012, 7.45CET
Cirilo was at a loss to explain why Russia surrendered a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw with Italy which still clinched Group C top spot, saying "we can't afford any more slips like that".
by Dmitri Mamykin & Francesco Corda
from Spaladium Arena

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Published: Monday 6 February 2012, 7.45CET

Italy response worries Russia's Cirilo

Cirilo was at a loss to explain why Russia surrendered a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw with Italy which still clinched Group C top spot, saying "we can't afford any more slips like that".

Sergei Skorovich, Russia coach
The two halves were completely different. Before the break we played very well. We controlled the ball well, and our movement and passing was so good that we were able to create some chances. Unfortunately we conceded a goal at the beginning of the second half which had a big impact on the match.

In the last few minutes Italy introduced a flying goalkeeper but we were ready for that
Sergei Skorovich
It's difficult to say why were not able to maintain the same level in the second half, but we can't afford any more slips like that
Cirilo
Italy once again showed that they can play at the same level as the best teams in Europe, if not the world
Roberto Menichelli

This was a morale boost for Italy, who started to play with more aggression. They also had the psychological advantage. We tried to change things and at one stage we were able to move the game away from our goal, but this was not enough.

In the last few minutes Italy introduced a flying goalkeeper but we were ready for that. In general, I'm very satisfied with our performance in a five-on-four situation. So, all in all, a draw is a fair result because we were clearly the best team in the first half, while Italy had the upper hand after the break.

Cirilo, Russia pivot
We were better in the first half, while they were better after the break. It's difficult to say why were not able to maintain the same level in the second half, but we can't afford any more slips like that. We knew Italy would attack, we expected this kind of performance from them. They were two goals down and needed a win in order to finish on top of the group [to stay in Split to play Serbia in Tuesday's quarter-final rather than switch to Zagreb], so they went all out attack. For some reason we were not ready for this.

Roberto Menichelli, Italy coach
Italy once again showed that they can play at the same level as the best teams in Europe, if not the world. This is the thing that gives me most pleasure − it means the job we've done is a good one. To draw with Russia, one of the teams you expect to win the European title, and to have been on a par with them − in the second half we were the better team, in the first no − is a positive. I'm satisfied; we will try to fix a few things for Tuesday.

[Gabriel] Lima was booked in the first match [against Turkey] and if he had picked up another he would have been suspended for our do-or-die quarter-final [against Portugal on Tuesday]. It was important to address this point, although we do have many good players and are not dependent on one individual.

In the second half I was prepared to risk Lima. He was apprehensive but also focused because having a yellow card on your shoulders is a big weight for the player and the team. Lima demonstrated that he is an international class player.

Gabriel Lima, Italy winger
We made the choice [for me not to play in the first half] because I received a yellow card in the opening match and I couldn't risk getting another ahead of the quarter-finals. In the second half when I came on I tried to help. I was fresh and therefore able to inject some enthusiasm to try and change the game.

Last updated: 29/10/12 14.43CET

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