JERUSALEM: Italy manager Devis Mangia was proud of his team’s performance at the Euro under-21s in Israel but had no argument with the outcome of the final writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Azzurrini lost 4-2 toSpainand, despite a goal in each half from Ciro Immobile and Fabio Borini, never threatened to outmanoeuvre the defending title holders.
Even so, Mangia insisted: “I’m proud to be coach of this team because right up until the last second we tried to stay in the match.”
Mangia conceded that he had sensed tension building up within his squad before the game over the size of a task which ultimately proved beyond them.
He said: “Perhaps our only mistake – and mistake is really the wrong word because it wasn’t their fault – was a lack of experience among our players.
“For matches at this level you need experience. Also perhaps we did not have the luck to go with the quality our players possess.
“Maybe on another day we could have done better though that might be difficult because we did achieve some excellent things here.”
Mangia was generous in praise of Spain, saying: “During the game, wherever I looked, there were some fantastic players on the pitch so real congratulations to the Spanish football federation, to their coach and their team for the excellent job they made here.
“Maybe there were two or three situations which were decided by the quality of Spain and our lack of quality.
“For example, we had three or four goal opportunities and in a match at this level you can never afford to miss any of them.”