View Full Version : Italy falls to Ivory Coast in Cesare Prandelli's coaching debut

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
11th August 2010, 04:14 AM
Cesare Prandelli lost his first match as coach of Italy on Tuesday when his team was beaten 1-0 by Ivory Coast in a friendly.
Italy fullback Marco Motta went close to scoring in the 47th minute when he shot against the post before defender Kolo Toure headed the African side ahead in the 55th.

Seydou Doumbia and Guy Demel worked an opening on the right for Demel to curl in a cross that Toure headed past debut-making goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

But Italy showed touches of class in its first match since its humiliating elimination from the first round of the World Cup, with the recalled Antonio Cassano at the center of much of the team's best work.

Cassano created an opening four minutes before halftime, collecting an angled return pass from Angelo Palombo, who went to the World Cup but did not play, and floating a cross almost from the touchline that Amauri just headed over.

Prandelli replaced Cassano with Giuseppe Rossi in the 69th, giving the Sampdoria striker a chance to take the cheers of Italy fans who saw little invention or skill from their team in South Africa.

Cassano missed the World Cup because previous coach Marcello Lippi decided he would upset the harmony of the squad if selected. But Lippi left after the defending champion finished bottom of a first-round group containing Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand.

The Italy fans dominating the sparse crowd of 11,176 in east London cheered nearly every touch by Cassano, who lined up in attack with the similarly recalled Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli shot just over from a third-minute free kick and, while the Inter Milan striker provided little of the width his position on the left of attack suggested it would, he drew cheers from the Italy fans with his tracking back and occasional interplay with Cassano.

But Cassano also showed the side of his game Lippi had been wary of, remonstrating with the referee when he was forced to collect the ball himself to deliver a corner kick and then rolling theatrically following a tough challenge by Emmanuel Eboue.

Fabio Quagliarella, who replaced Amauri as a 59th-minute substitute, mishit a shot wide five minutes later. Replacement fullback Mattia Cassani then beat the same defender twice to send in a cross that Marco Borriello, another substitute, headed over.

With the major European leagues yet to start and the World Cup having finished more than a month ago, each team showed moments of rustiness in east London.

Doumbia nearly had an opening in the 17th when Sirigu and the otherwise reliable Giorgio Chiellini waited for each other to come to clear a through ball, while Amauri nearly put in a 52nd-minute rebound when goalkeeper Yeboua spilled a shot by Simone Pepe.

Gervinho shot wide for Ivory Coast, which missed the attacking focal point usually provided by Didier Drogba, when an exchange of passes on the edge of the area had left him with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Drogba was left out to continue his recovery from post-World Cup groin surgery.

11th August 2010, 04:25 AM
This doesn't sound good at all for his first match..

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
11th August 2010, 04:34 AM
I'm happy the Ivorians won. Puts a stink on Balotelli's debut haha

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
11th August 2010, 06:25 PM