Lippi laments Italian air game
Pirlo practises for beleaguered squad
Italy coach Marcello Lippi is upset that his squad wasn't able to follow his orders in the shocking 1-1 draw with New Zealand at the World Cup.
In a heated news conference Monday, Lippi acknowledged that "evidently something is not working if we're not able to put the ball in the net."
Lippi recalled that he worked all week on keeping the ball low and on the ground against the tall and physical All Whites, "but as soon we grew a little nervous we started booting it high in the air. … We didn't do much of what needed to do."
Italy also drew 1-1 with Paraguay in its opener and now needs tobeat Slovakia in its final Group F match Thursday to be sure of advancing.
Lippi lectured the players for 20 minutes before the start of the team's training session on Monday, with even injured goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon called out of the gym for the occasion.
Andrea Pirlo was back in training. The AC Milan midfielder has been out since injuring his left calf in a pre-tournament friendly with Mexico on June 3.
Lippi still wasn't sure Pirlo would play against Slovakia.
"He just touched a ball today for the first time in nearly 20 days," the coach said. "We'll see."