Draw poses questions for Prandelli

PA Sport
Cesare Prandelli was disappointed with the way Italy allowed Croatia back into the game

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Cesare Prandelli was disappointed with the way Italy allowed Croatia back into the game

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has questioned his players' lack of a killer instinct and their fitness levels in the wake of another draw in Euro 2012.

The Azzurri dominated the opening 45 minutes of the Group C clash with Croatia in Poznan's Municipal Stadium, creating a number of chances before deservedly taking a 39th-minute lead courtesy of Andrea Pirlo's stunning free-kick. But they lacked the same intensity after the interval and Mario Mandzukic bagged an equaliser.

Prandelli denied being angry with the result, stating: "Of course you are a bit bitter because when a side plays football, creates a lot of goalscoring chances, they need to put a game to bed, to kill off the game."

He added: "You need to be more clinical in front of goal, show more determination when you get in their half and get near their goal.

"If you can't win the game, you don't kill it off then you are going to have regrets.

"Football is unique in that you can have one cross and it can ruin everything you have built up over the game, so of course there is a lot of regret.

"But 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."

Italy now have to beat the Republic of Ireland on Monday if they are to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, declined to look ahead to the next game with Spain, simply saying: "All I will say is that I'm very optimistic for the next match.

"I'm really satisfied we've 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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