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The opening performance by the Italians was impressive. Especially for the group D, which is considered as the group of death in this World Cup 2014, Brazil. Many, must have expected Italy to make an easier effort for the next round. Costa Rica was truly an easier opponent comparing the other two.
But this is not the first time. The Azzurri have a history of making such difficulties for themselves. With the lesser opponent they just missed the chance to manage their place for the last 16. Nothing but the poor performance, they offered, is liable for the defeat in Italy vs Costa Rica match.
Primarily we couldn’t just determine what to expect from the Cesare Prandelli’s team. As they have recently vanquished the English, less than a week ago. A number of decisions from the Italy coach only exaggerated that feeling. His tinkering with the starting XI made sense. But certainly his choices seemed erroneous with the Friday’s match moving on.
There is no opportunity to argue with the goalkeeper change. Even after the Salvatore Sirigu’s excellent display against England in Manaus. The stopper enjoyed a solid outing. May be he also would acknowledge that the return of Gigi Buffon was inevitable. As soon as the Juventus man is recovered from his ankle injury, he is meant to be with the starting eleven for Italy vs Costa Rica match.
Italy vs Costa Rica: As it happened
Their captain was where the real issues lay. The initial decision to drop Gabriel Paletta again seemed a wise move. He just struggled too much for the opening match. Parma defender looked woeful. English attacking players were constantly getting the better of him, though failed for his unsteady showing.
So the withdrawal made serious implications across the Italy back line. With Matteo Darmian swapping flanks to left-back, Giorgio Chiellini shifted back into the centre. And Ignazio Abate was drafted in on the right. But the Milan full-back was offered a torrid time in Italy vs Costa Rica match. He was constantly out of position and just allowed Junior Dias far too much space, which led the only goal of this match.
Andrea Barzagli retained his position within the back five. Their defensive mix-ups were really no surprise. But Joel Campbell was unlucky not to add to that Bryan Ruiz opener. The Azzurri woes at one end of the field were only compounded further forward. And swapping Marco Verratti for Thiago Motta robbed Italy of some much needed creativity for that particular match.
Against England on Saturday night, the 21-year-old midfielder was constantly probing the defence. He completed 97 percent of his passes right. He also assisted for Claudio Marchisio’s opening goal. Another time he managed a clever corner routine involving Andrea Pirlo making room for his raking shot from distance, outside the d box.
This time, there were far fewer opportunities against a well-organized team. Prandelli made three attacking changes and sought an equalizer. But no effects. He introduced, Antonio Cassano, Lorenzo Insigne and Alessio Cerci. Still failed to provide a cutting edge in Italy vs Costa Rica match. His tri managed to provide only one shot on target.
Mario Balotelli can be considered as an increasingly isolated and frustrated figure. The Milan striker managed just 24 touches over the 90 minutes game. For all his 12 pass attempts, he never really came close to his match-winning heroics like the one against England. And at the second half he got the deserved yellow card, as had loosen his temperament.
Just one shot on target!! This kind of performance by the striker was indicative of the uncertainty and unfamiliarity for the team. May be Prandelli’s changes were not that much helping the side, rather hindered the spirit. Now this will bring down a great payment for the Azzurri as to progress to the next round. They will be needing at least one point against Uruguay to last for the final 16. But honestly speaking, it will definitely be a difficult prospect if Luiz Suarez performs as he did in his own victory against England yesterday.
And yet, for a very few occasions, even the returning Buffon looked shaky. Though, after the full time he can be proclaimed as the iconic one who summed up the situation a little better.
The Italy skipper told to Sky Italia,
“You get back on your feet by looking on the bright side”
And he believes that Azzurri must be just doing that now.
So, to qualify to the next round is on their hand. Prandelli must get things right on Tuesday against Uruguay. Team Italy (4 times World Cup winner ) needs more creativity, at least more than the Italy vs Costa Rica match. And again, changes should also needs to be well planned as not to harm the team combination but to fuel the victory. A great match awaits I believe!!