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Wednesday, 14 June, 2000, 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
Waseige takes it on the chin
Vanderhaeghe and Zambrotta
Belgium's Vanderhaeghe tangles with Zambrotta of Italy
Belgium coach Robert Waseige admitted his side had been beaten by a better team after Italy moved clear of Group B with a 2-0 win in Brussels.

Italy were well worth their victory and Waseige said: "I don't mind losing to a team that was better than us.

"I think the victory was deserved," he added.

"It was very difficult for us after they scored so quickly and the Italians have something we don't - they are used to playing at the highest level."

Solid defence

Striker Emile Mpenza said: "Their defence was extremely strong. We created lots of good chances but their defence was solid.

Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti scored Italy's early opener

"Every time I beat one player another one would be there to back them up."

Substitute Luc Nilis, who is joining Aston Villa this summer, added: "It was a strong Italian team but I think in the first half we succeeded in keeping them in their own half.

"It was their perfect scenario to score an early goal, then just defend and wait for the space for a counter-attack."

Italian coach Dino Zoff believed his side withstood a strong test of character in coming through against the co-hosts.

"It was a very combative game - the Belgians tested our physique and our character," said Zoff.

Six points puts us in a good position. We feel comfortable now.

Italian coach Dino Zoff
"We got an early lead and we held on to it and thankfully we could add another.

"Six points puts us in a good position. We feel comfortable now. We wanted to win this game and we went out to win this game."

Francesco Totti, who scored the opening goal after just six minutes, added: "Now I think we can say we are a team and we have found a good shape."

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See also:

14 Jun 00 | Italy
Italy head for quarter-finals
14 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Italy v Belgium in pictures
14 Jun 00 | Italy
Clockwatch: Italy v Belgium
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