Canadian captain Al Charron said his side were unlucky after being beaten 19-14 by Italy in Canberra.
Charron was disappointed with the set pieces
The Cannucks had their chances to steal Tuesday's game in the latter stages but failed to find a way through as fly-half Jared Barker struggled to find form with the boot.
And Charron said: "We were unlucky. We played well and it was a hard-fought game, in which Italy came out on top.
"But we didn't get the points when we needed to. That was deserved but it really could have gone either way."
Italy looked stronger for much of an error-ridden contest, nudging ahead 9-6 at the interval thanks to the reliable kicking of Rima Wakarua.
After the break they were the far more adventurous, finally forcing a way over through number eight Sergio Parisse's try.
Canada hit back with a try of their own from Quentin Fyffe which inspired his team-mates for the game's remaining 10 minutes. But it proved insufficient time to cut the disadvantage.
"We didn't get down their end enough and when we got into the scoring zone we failed to come away with points often enough," said Charron.
Canada's weak points were in their set pieces where they were continually overwhelmed by the marginally more disciplined Azzurri.
And Charron added: "We we're under a lot of pressure from the Italy scrum. They are great scrummagers. Our line-out had some good jumpers against us. We played them better in the second half.
"It would be good to be more clinical in our set pieces and we'll work on that in the game against Tonga."