Oct 16 2013, 8:32am CDT | by IANS
Italy fought back twice to salvage the 2-2 draw in their final World Cup qualifier Tuesday, where Prandelli was left disappointed by their performance of the first 20 minutes, reports Xinhua.
"We started badly, very badly. The opening 20 minutes were embarrassing," he said. "From then, we reacted well and had a good match."
"It was important for me to see players who never gave up and that was a positive sign. I told the lads they had to play good football and that now the World Cup campaign begins, so I'll judge every single game," he said.
"We qualified for the Euros and World Cup without defeat. Clearly these last few games make you think it won't take much to win, but the truth is you need great concentration and grit," he said.
Following Italy's 2-2 draw with Denmark and Armenia in their last two World Cup qualifying matches, the Azzurri could possibly be not ranked as the top seed in the World Cup finals draw. Prandelli said that does not concern him.
"I am not worried about whether we are top seeds. The important thing was to qualify, we did that, and now we have to judge the performances to make the right choices for our final 23-man squad," he said.
Prandelli praised Balotelli who came on in the second half and scored the equaliser after a week of controversy and illness.
"Mario came on with the right foot, played well and showed determination. He was debilitated after three days in bed, but the 45 minutes he played was enough," he said.
"We need to evaluate the young players who did well today. Alessandro Florenzi got a great goal, while Lorenzo Insigne was unlucky on two or three chances, but he has technique, personality and the right attitude," he said.
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