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Prandelli hails Italy recovery

21 March 2013 23:50

Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli has praised his side's spirit after they performed a thrilling fightback to draw 2-2 with Brazil.

Fred and Oscar's first-half strikes fired Brazil into a comfortable lead at half-time on Thursday, but Daniele De Rossi pulled a goal back before Mario Balotelli's 25-yard strike levelled the scores in Geneva.

And former Fiorentina boss Prandelli said his team's second-half comeback was just reward for their impressive performance.

"We had a great game. We were down 2-0 at break. I looked to transmit the feeling we could score then equalise," Prandelli told Rai.

"We risked a lot being 2-0 down but we were better organised in the second half. It was good spirit from the team.

"I like us being in this form as it gives us more confidence."

Prandelli defended Mario Balotelli - who missed several chances - and Mattia De Sciglio - who could be blamed for both Brazil goals - after the hard-fought draw in Switzerland.

"(Balotelli) had the best opportunities and scored a great goal," he said.

"The important thing is that he is at the top of his game during competitions.

"Mattia De Sciglio showed great technique and maturity."

Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari blamed the goal his team conceded early in the second half for altering the outcome of the match.

"Well I think what changed the game in the second half was the first goal we conceded," he said.

"It's not the kind of goal we should be letting in. It's a low ball through, it's a strange goal, it shouldn't really happen. But once that first goal had gone in, I think that's what really changed the second half.

"Maybe Italy made a few changes and played a little bit better. But if that first goal hadn't gone in, then I think we would have seen a very different match."

Italy face Malta in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification on Tuesday, while Brazil's next match is a friendly against Russia on Monday.

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