Thursday 25 December 2014

Cesare Prandelli: The heat didn't beat us, Costa Rica did

Published 20/06/2014 | 20:48

Costa Rica's head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, left, celebrates after winning 1-0 against Italy in the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Costa Rica at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014.  (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Costa Rica's head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, left, celebrates after winning 1-0 against Italy in the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Costa Rica at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Costa Rica's coach Jorge Luis Pinto (L) celebrates with a teammate after winning their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match against Italy at the Pernambuco arena in Recife June 20, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP)
A fan of Costa Rica celebrates at the end of their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match against Italy
Costa Rica's team huddle as they celebrate after winning their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match against Italy
Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica celebrates scoring his team's opener
Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica celebrates scoring his team's first goal
Head coach Cesare Prandelli of Italy looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Mario Balotelli of Italy looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Italian soccer team fans watch as their team plays against the Costa Rican team as they watch on the screen setup at the Word Cup FIFA Fan Fest during on Copacabana beach
Joel Campbell of Costa Rica falls after a challenge by Giorgio Chiellini (L) and Andrea Barzagli of Italy during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Mario Balotelli of Italy reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica scores his team's first goal on a header during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Mario Balotelli of Italy holds the ball and gestures twoard Giancarlo Gonzalez and Michael Umana of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Costa Rica players celebrate after Bryan Ruiz scored their team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Joel Campbell of Costa Rica appeals for a penalty as Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini of Italy react during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica scores his team's first goal on a header past Gianluigi Buffon of Italy during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Joel Campbell of Costa Rica battles for the ball with Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele De Rossi of Italy during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Mario Balotelli of Italy attempts a goal as Oscar Duarte of Costa Rica gives chase during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Fanny Neguesha, fiancee of Mario Balotelli of Italy, looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Italian soccer team fans watch as their team plays against the Costa Rican team as they watch on the screen setup at the Word Cup FIFA Fan Fest during on Copacabana beach
Mario Balotelli of Italy controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli refused to blame the midday tropical heat for his side's shock 1-0 World Cup defeat by Costa Rica on Friday.

Prandelli said there was no point in being negative after the loss which left his side needing at least a draw against Uruguay in their final game to qualify from Group D.

"Right now I don't think we need to be negative, we need to think about recovering our energies because we have another game in a few days' time, we play against Uruguay and whether we qualify depends on that," Prandelli told reporters.

"It's useless to blame the heat," he added. "We have to regain not just the physical energy but the mental energy as well."

Italy's first match was in Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, and they will face Uruguay in a 1300 (1600 GMT) kickoff on Tuesday in Natal, another tropical venue.

"We know about the calendar, we've known it for some time," said Prandelli. "It's useless to try and find excuses, we're not looking for excuses, we have to be ready at the kickoff."

Prandelli refused to blame Italy's tactics for the defeat.

"We didn't get our tactics wrong," he said. "They were very, very aggressive and we were trying to find different ways into the game but we didn't manage it.

"Mario (Balotelli) had two opportunities and if we had scored the game would have been different.

"All we needed was an opportunity, maybe we should have believed in it more.

"We conceded the goal and that was the end of it. We were unable to come back, congratulations to Costa Rica."

Italy's defeat almost meant that England were eliminated.

"I'm terribly sorry, not just for the English, but also for us," said Prandelli. "We also wanted to win. I have no message for the English."

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