Prandelli undeterred by plucky Mexico
By Football News
Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli has claimed his team was 'never scared' they would lose to Mexico in their Confederations Cup opener.
While Mexico head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre claimed Italy's narrow tactics made them 'predictable' and allowed the Mexicans to control general play, Prandelli insisted the match 'went according to plan'.
Italy took the lead in the first half thanks to a stunning free-kick from Andrea Pirlo but Mexico equalised before the break through Javier Hernandez's 34th-minute penalty, before Mario Balotelli slotted the winner for Prandelli's team with 12 minutes remaining.
"Mexico were trying to counterattack whenever we made a mistake but I think we had a great game," Prandelli said.
"We were never scared that we might not win.
"When they equalised, we had to start all over again but we stayed alert, kept our strength and managed to strike the right chords.
"We never gave away the ball and outnumbered our opponents in various areas of the field.
"It went according to plan so I'm very happy."
Despite losing their first match of the warm-up tournament for next year's World Cup finals, de la Torre argued Mexico defended well against Italy.
But the 47-year-old Mexican head coach bemoaned his team's inability to control possession.
"We made a lot of mistakes and gave away possession easily which proved costly," de la Torre said.
"We obviously looked at their team before the game and pulled their tactics apart a little.
"They were always looking to create spaces in front of our defence but that makes you predictable, fortunately for us those plays did not cause havoc and we managed to control the situation well."
Mexico will face tournament hosts Brazil next, while Italy will take on Japan.