Italy coach Cesare Prandelli offered no excuses for his side's 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica on Friday, but insisted there was "no need to panic" despite his side’s chances of World Cup progression taking a severe hit.
A victory in Recife would have put the Azzurri in a strong position in Group D but instead it was Los Ticos who advanced into the round of 16 thanks to Bryan Ruiz’s first-half header.
Italy will join them if they can avoid defeat to Uruguay on Tuesday, with Prandelli trying to remain optimistic despite a defeat few saw coming.PHOTOS: Beautiful people in Brazil | Brazil protests | Soccer fanatics | Fan tattoos
"We deserved this defeat," he told RAI Sport. "But there’s no need to panic, we just have to recover and get ready for Tuesday’s match." It was a defeat in which Costa Rica were much more aggressive and played with passion. I don’t know if we were superficial but it would have been a huge mistake if we were. The players ran hard and in these conditions gave all they had.
"We had a plan, but Costa Rica were smart to close down every gap for the passes to go through. We already knew this was a particularly tough group and that we’d have to gamble our qualification in the last game with Uruguay."
Italy's best fell to Mario Balotelli but he could only put a weak effort wide of target around the half-hour mark.
"Perhaps if Balotelli had scored the match would have different," Prandelli added. "But there’s nothing else for us to complain about. We will do our best against Uruguay."