GDANSK: Andres Iniesta said that he had mixed feelings after winning the man-of-the-match award following Spain’s 1-1 draw with Italy in their Group C opener on Sunday evening.
The Barcelona star, who had a hand in Cesc Fabregas’ equaliser for Spain, was concerned about not taking maximum points.
“It’s a bitter-sweet feeling having drawn as we would have liked to come out with a win,” said Iniesta.
“It was an intense game against a strong team with quality players who are one of the favourites. We played well and I’m confident we will do well in the next two games.”
Spain unhappy with pitch
Meanwhile, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque was unhappy with the state of the pitch at the Arena Gdansk, complaining that it was too dry and slowed the pace of his team’s passing.
“Of course we prefer to win but we tried, we worked very hard, it was a great match,” said the Spain boss.
“The important thing is that we play good football. The conditions with such a dry pitch were very difficult and that’s not good for either team and if it was faster it would have been even better.”
Spain play their next group match against Republic of Ireland on June 14.
Croatia coach confident of progress
After Croatia’s convincing 3-1 victory over Ireland, boss Slaven Bilic insisted that his side needs to go step by step and one more win against either Spain or Italy could seal their progress to the quarter-finals.
“We cannot fly in the championship,” said Bilic. “We respect all our opponents. We have no fear against anyone. Spain and Italy are favourites to progress from our group, but I still think we can beat one of them and progress at their expense.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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