Conte: Italy not clincal enough

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The Azzurri beat Bulgaria to go two points clear in Group H but were left hanging on at the death after failing to make the most of their first-half domination

Antonio Conte says Italy must become more clinical in front of goal, despite taking a major step towards qualification for Euro 2016 with a 1-0 win over Bulgaria on Sunday.

Daniele De Rossi gave the Azzurri a sixth-minute lead in Palermo, with the Roma midfielder converting a penalty after Antonio Candreva had been felled in the area.

However, despite dominating the remainder of the half - Italy had 15 shots on goal in the opening half - the hosts failed to add to their advantage and were left hanging on at the death, with Gigi Buffon forced into making an excellent stop in injury time from Georgi Milanov.

Conte was pleased with Buffon's contribution, in what was his 150th appearances for his country, while Marco Verratti also caught the coach's eye.

However, he was reluctant to single out anyone in particular for special praise, particularly as he was more concerned with Italy's lack of a killer instinct.

"I don't want to speak about individuals," he told Rai Uno. "I think Marco is a play on whom we can rely but he must grow.

"Gigi made an important save for us but he's always a guarantee.

"We got six points from two games [after beating Malta 1-0 on Thursday] but I'm a little disappointed that the result remained in the balance given we dominated the game. We deserved more goals.

"We have to be more clinical. We created a lot but didn't take our chances.

"Anyway, there was real commitment so I'm happy."

Italy's victory moves them two points clear of Norway at the top of Group H and three ahead of third-placed Croatia.

 

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