Cyprus Mail
Football Sport

Italian coach Ventura blames inexperience for Italy blackout

Italy's Ciro Immobile celebrates after scoring the winning goal deep into injury time

Italy coach Giampiero Ventura blamed inexperience for a second-half blackout which left his team on the brink of a shock defeat to rank outsiders Macedonia in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

Macedonia, trailing 1-0 at halftime, scored two goals in three minutes and had two clear chances to score a third shortly afterwards as Italy dramatically fell apart.

The four-times world champions looked lost and could barely string two passes together until two goals from Ciro Immobile rescued the Italians and gave them a 3-2 win.

“For 10 minutes, we stopped being a team, but then we were once again the Italy that everyone knows and we got this result,” said Ventura, who replaced Antonio Conte as coach after Euro 2016.

“We made mistakes borne out of inexperience, but that is something you have to accept with a group of young players.”

The win puts Italy level on seven points with group leaders Spain who they trail goal difference after three games.

Ventura, a 68-year-old who is widely respected in Italy but has never won a major title in a long, much-travelled coaching career, said he still had confidence in his players.

“It’s unlikely that we will keep making these mistakes, all we can do is improve,” he said. “We have to be ourselves from now on. But with this group of lads, we have the possibility to do well.”

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon described the game as “very strange.”

“We took the lead but we didn’t administer this well because we gave away too many scoring chances, and that’s a mistake we don’t usually make,” he said.

“The good thing was the result, we have been rewarded for playing with heart and soul although it was maybe more than we deserved.

“The coach tries to help us by passing on his concepts and his way of interpreting football,” he added.

“At times we make mistakes, so that some games that seem easy on paper become complicated.”

Summaries from all the World Cup Qualifying European matches on Sunday

Moldova 1 Igor Bugaiov 45+1
Ireland 3 Shane Long 2, James McClean 69,76
Halftime: 1-1;
– – –
Albania 0
Spain 2 Diego Costa 55, Nolito 63
Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 15,900
– – –
Macedonia 2 Ilja Nestorovski 57, Ferhan Hasani 59
Italy 3 Andrea Belotti 24, Ciro Immobile 75,90+2
Halftime: 0-1;Attendance: 27,000
– – –
Iceland 2 OEmer Toprak 42og, Alfred Finnbogason 44
Turkey 0
Halftime: 2-0;
– – –
Wales 1 Gareth Bale 10
Georgia 1 Tornike Okriashvili 57
Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 32,652
– – –
Israel 2 Tomer Hemed 4,16
Liechtenstein 1 Maximilian Goeppel 49
Halftime: 2-0;Attendance: 9,000
– – –
Finland 0
Croatia 1 Mario Mandzukic 18
Halftime: 0-1;Attendance: 15,567
– – –
Ukraine 3 Artem Kravets 31, Andriy Yarmolenko 81, Ruslan Rotan 87
Kosovo 0
Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 1,000
– – –
Saturday, October 8
Germany 3 Thomas Mueller 13,65, Toni Kroos 49
Czech Republic 0
Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 51,299
– – –
Northern Ireland 4 Steven Davis 26pen, Kyle Lafferty 79,90+4, Jamie Ward 85
San Marino 0
Red Card: Mirko Palazzi 49
Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 18,234
– – –
Poland 3 Robert Lewandowski 20,36pen,47
Denmark 2 Kamil Glik 49og, Yussuf Poulsen 69
Halftime: 2-0;Attendance: 56,811
– – –
Scotland 1 James McArthur 89
Lithuania 1 Fiodor Cernych 59
Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 35,966
– – –
Slovenia 1 Rok Kronaveter 74
Slovakia 0
Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 10,492
– – –
Azerbaijan 1 Maksim Medvedev 11
Norway 0
Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 45,000
– – –
Armenia 0
Red Card: Gor Malakyan 3
Romania 5 Bogdan Stancu 4pen, Adrian Popa 10, Razvan Marin 12, Nicolae Stanciu 29, Alexandru Chipciu 59
Halftime: 0-4;Attendance: 5,500
– – –
Montenegro 5 Zarko Tomasevic 24, Nikola Vukcevic 59, Stevan Jovetic 64, Fatos Beciraj 73, Stefan Savic 78
Kazakhstan 0
Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 8,517
– – –
England 2 Daniel Sturridge 29, Dele Alli 38
Malta 0
Halftime: 2-0;Attendance: 81,781
– – –
Friday, October 7
France 4 Kevin Gameiro 23,59, Dimitri Payet 26, Antoine Griezmann 38
Bulgaria 1 Mihail Aleksandrov 6pen
Halftime: 3-1;Attendance: 70,000
– – –
Luxembourg 0
Red Card: Kevin Malget 82
Sweden 1 Mikael Lustig 58
Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 5,057
– – –
Netherlands 4 Quincy Promes 15,31, Davy Klaassen 55, Vincent Janssen 64
Belarus 1 Aleksey Rios 47
Halftime: 2-0;Attendance: 41,200
– – –
Hungary 2 Adam Szalai 53,71
Switzerland 3 Haris Seferovic 51, Ricardo Rodriguez 67, Valentin Stocker 89
Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 22,000
– – –
Latvia 0
Faroe Islands 2 Sonni Nattestad 19, Johan Simun Edmundsson 70
Halftime: 0-1;Attendance: 4,823
– – –
Portugal 6 Cristiano Ronaldo 2,4,47,68, Joao Cancelo 44, Andre Silva 86
Andorra 0
Red Card: Jordi Rubio 62, Marc Rebes 70
Halftime: 3-0;Attendance: 25,120
– – –
Belgium 4 Emir Spahic 26og, Eden Hazard 28, Toby Alderweireld 60, Romelu Lukaku 79
Bosnia 0
Halftime: 2-0;Attendance: 45,000
– – –
Greece 2 Kostantinos Mitroglou 12, Petros Mantalos 42
Cyprus 0
Halftime: 2-0;Attendance: 16,512
– – –
Estonia 4 Mattias Kaeit 47,70, Konstantin Vassiljev 52, Sergei Mosnikov 88
Gibraltar 0
Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 4,678
– – –
Still being played (GMT):
Sunday, October 9
Serbia v Austria (1845)
Next Fixtures (GMT):
Monday, October 10
Belarus v Luxembourg (1845)
Netherlands v France (1845)
Sweden v Bulgaria (1845)
Andorra v Switzerland (1845)
Faroe Islands v Portugal (1845)
Latvia v Hungary (1845)
Bosnia v Cyprus (1845)
Estonia v Greece (1845)
Gibraltar v Belgium (1845)



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