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Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Sunday, 20 June 2010 19:22 UK

Italy lack edge, says sorry Lippi

World Cup 2010 highlights: Italy 1-1 New Zealand

Highlights: Italy 1-1 New Zealand

Coach Marcello Lippi has admitted World Cup holders Italy lack a "cutting edge" after a draw with New Zealand left them hanging on to qualify for the last 16.

The Azzurri seemed to miss the creative influence of injured midfielder Andrea Pirlo as they failed to find a winner against the rank tournament outsiders.

"We didn't have much luck," said Lippi. "But we didn't play a great game.

"The side played with great desire, but we were lacking the cutting edge in certain moments."

New Zealand actually took the lead when Shane Smeltz prodded home from Wiston Reid's flick on after six minutes, while Italy had to rely on a controversially-awarded penalty for Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta to secure an equaliser 20 minutes later.

We're just sorry we didn't win a match we could have. It's our fault

Marcello Lippi

The 1-1 draw means that Italy must beat Slovakia on Thursday to guarantee a place in the last 16 - if they draw, then New Zealand could deny them with victory over leaders Paraguay in their final Group F match.

"We hit the woodwork and lofted numerous balls into the box without joy," added Lippi.

"[But] we're just sorry we didn't win a match we could have. If we didn't win against New Zealand it's our fault.

"Once again the opponent scored on their first chance. We were able to control the game after that, but this was a match we should have won.

"Again we were very unfortunate. It's not like we didn't do great things, although you always need to do more."

As well as being without the services of Pirlo - who is in South Africa and could still play a part in the World Cup - Lippi is without first-choice goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Buffon was ruled out of the New Zealand game because of a herniated disc in his back, which he injured during last Monday's 1-1 draw against Paraguay before being substituted at half-time.

There are now fears that the world's most expensive goalkeeper may not play again during the finals in South Africa.

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see also
Smeltz feeling 'brilliant' after goal
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nelsen ecstatic after draw with Italy
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Herbert praises New Zealand resilience
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights: Italy 1-1 New Zealand
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Iaquinta scores penalty for Italy
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Italy's Pirlo to miss two matches
10 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Rossi left out of Italy Cup squad
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Italy
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006

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