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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Trap rues missed chances
Christian Vieri displays the pain of Italy's defeat
Italy have now lost to both North and South Korea
Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni rued his team's missed chances against South Korea - but insisted that the Azzurri deserved to have won.

Trapattoni's team elected to defend their 18th minute lead for most of the remainder of the match.

But they were caught by the sucker-punch of an 88th minute equaliser and were then beaten by an extra-time golden goal from Ahn Jung-Hwan.

"We had many more chances but Korea played with their heart," Trapattoni said.

"It was a beautiful match but the winner should have been Italy.

Open Quote
If there was to be a winner, it should have been Italy
Close Quote
Giovanni Trapattoni

"We had far, far more goalscoring chances than Korea."

The most glaring of those missed opportunities fell to Christian Vieri just moments after the co-hosts had equalised.

The Internazionale striker had earlier put Italy ahead with his ninth goal in World Cups.

But this time he screwed his shot woefully wide as he attempted to convert Damiano Tommasi's cross unchallenged from six yards out.

"We had three of four chances to wrap up the match," said Trapattoni.

"We had a chance for a golden goal from (Gennaro) Gattuso and from Vieri at the end of normal time.

Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni
Trapattoni was baffled by Totti's dismissal
"Perhaps we should have finished the game with those opportunities.

"That's football, but I think that if one of these teams should have gone to the quarters it should have been us, given what we did in this competition up until now."

But he added: "Unfortunately, this World Cup went downhill for Italy because of a lot of things.

"I've seen certain things which have penalised us. Today we played a good game.

"I'd say we're going out with our heads held high but with a lot to be bitter about.

"We had a player sent off - I don't know why. We played with enthusiasm.

"If there was to be one winner in this match, I think it should have been Italy."


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Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni (via translator)
"Italy should have won"
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