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Sleepless Lippi proud of his Italy

By Super

DUISBURG, Germany, July 5: Italy coach Marcello Lippi did not waste any time in reviewing his team's 2-0 semi-final victory over Germany, staying awake during the night watching the entire game again on video.

''I'm tired, I just slept two hours because I wanted to watch the whole game again, including extra time,'' Lippi told a news conference today.

''I went to bed at 5am and I was up at seven as I usually am.

I liked what I saw though, it confirmed the impression I had at the end of the game. We beat a quality side and there was everything you want from a game at that level,'' added the Italy coach.

''It was a very important victory, probably the most important of my career -- apart from Sunday's of course,'' Lippi said referring to the World Cup final in Berlin where Italy will face the winner's of today's semi-final between France and Portugal.

Lippi took a big gamble in extra time when he took off two midfielders and brought on strikers Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alessandro Del Piero and he said there had been a number of factors behind that tactical move.

Immediately after the game Lippi said that he had been keen to avoid the 'lottery' of a penalty shootout, fearing that Italy would have struggled to win such a contest.

But yesterday he said that he had responded to the way the game had opened up as the players tired after a high-tempo 90 minutes.

''In the final stages the game became split between attack and defence and it was end-to-end. Now our defence is pretty good and we have a good keeper behind them so I wanted to find some quality in attack. Also with those players on the field we had a decent number of good penalty takers,'' said Lippi.

REUTERS

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Read more about: football italy sports
Story first published: Wednesday, July 5, 2006, 19:21 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 5, 2006
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