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Donadoni calm despite defeat

10 Jun 2008 - 07:21:22

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni refused to condemn the referee for awarding Netherlands an offside opening goal in their 3-0 Group C defeat on Monday.

Ruud van Nistelrooy's 26th minute opener was clearly offside, before further goals from Wesley Sneijder and Giovanni van Bronckhorst left the reigning world champions facing an uphill struggle to reach the knockout stages.

Italy must now effectively beat fellow Group C sides France and Romania to be certain of qualification for the last eight.

Referring to the controversial opening goal, Donadoni said: "I accept it. The referee made a mistake. He's human.

"The game started badly and finished terribly for us. Our intention was not to start this tournament and concede a 3-0 defeat.

"The first goal complicated our lives and I thought we were very naive for the second goal.

"We reacted well in the second half and ,despite having chances, it was not to be.

"We have to be optimistic and forget about this game. We need to bounce back in our next game against Romania - an encounter which has now become crucial for us."


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