Sacchi: The first half was one of the best ever for Italy

The former Azzurri manager believes that Prandelli's men were excellent in the opening 45 minutes of their second Euro 2012 Group C game against Croatia
Arrigo Sacchi has praised Italy's first-half performance in their 1-1 draw against Croatia in Poznan.

Cesare Prandelli's side took a 1-0 lead into the half-time interval thanks to an exquisite free-kick from Andrea Pirlo.

It was fitting reward for play which saw the Italians dominate possession and led to former AC Milan coach Sacchi being full of praise for his nation's first-half efforts.

"The first half was one of the best Italy played in their history," he told Al Jazeera Sports.

"The defence was great and the attacking style had so much pressure on the opponent."

Despite an impressive first-half performance Italy failed to secure all three points in their second Group C game as Croatia levelled matters in the second session through a strike from Mario Mandzukic.

Sacchi conceded the Azzurri's second-half display did not match up to their play in the first period and instead they allowed Slaven Billic's men to come back into the game.

Unfortunately that [pressure] didn't last to the end and Croatia made Italy step back."