ALAN VACCARO / AIPS* in ABU DHABI: Mexico’s Coach Raul Gutierrez talked happily after the world under-17 champions’ dramatic win over Italy.
“It was a victory that the players worked for all through the game,” he said. “They played with a huge spirit, just the way these games have to be played . . . I think players did everything right and got their prize for it.”
But, far from being complacent, Gutierrez insisted they “must keep getting even better” to continue through the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013.
Gutierrez praised the contribution of striker Alejandro Diaz, who scored another important goal to put Mexico into the lead, saying: “He is an excellent player but he needs players to make him the spaces and others to give him the ball so as to do well.”
Italy’s Daniele Zoratto was satisfied with his team’s performance and thought the tournament had been “a fantastic experience” despite the defeat against Mexico and leaving at the second round stage.
He said: “It was a very good experience for us. In this age we are not used to be in every World Cup and we know we are still far as to be a top team like Brazil, Mexico or Uruguay.
“It was a very precious experience if we consider we are playing with teams that are more advanced in terms of skill. We were second in Europe and now get into the round of 16. I’m happy for the route we had been through”.
Zoratto also tried to explained the reason his team struggling to score goals in this World Cup. Italy recorded only three goals in their four games.
He said: “Scoring is not our best quality. We had chances and we couldn’t finish them successfully though we were pretty close but we know that’s not our strong characteristic.”
Zoratto praised Mexico as “an important team, with big personality and big physical condition.” They also had history on their side.