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The Azzurri skipper admits they paid the price for a sluggish first half and were unfortunate after the restart.

Brazil defeated Italy 2-0 in an international friendly at the Emirates Stadium in London last night.

The Nazionale had a positive start to the encounter and even seemed to have taken the lead through Fabio Grosso, but the ‘goal’ was incorrectly disallowed for offside.

However, the South Americans took control of the game moments later. Manchester City boys Elano and Robinho condemned Marcello Lippi to his first defeat on the Azzurri bench after an impressive run of 31 unbeaten games.

“It was not the real Italy in the first period; we were too timid,” captain Fabio Cannavaro told journalists after the encounter.

“When you face a side like Brazil without taking any risks, you often end up paying for it. It’s a shame we completely flopped during the first half.

“After that, we created lots of chances and perhaps had even more shots on goal than the Brazilians. We tried to do something to turn around the match, but it was just a bad day.”

Italy will be back in action on March 28 for a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Montenegro.

Vince Masiello, Goal.com

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