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Monday, June 17, 2013
Balotelli: Italy can reach final

ESPN staff

Italian striker Mario Balotelli is confident the Azzurri can make the Confederations Cup final after starting the tournament with a 2-1 win over Mexico.

• Blog: Italy too good
• Mexico player ratings
• Blog: Pirlo's new role

The AC Milan forward proved to be the match winner for the Italians, after Javier Hernandez had earlier equalised following Andrea Pirlo's opener.

And following the final whistle, the 22-year-old spoke of his happiness of recording a first-up victory, despite running into trouble with the referee.

"It was a great game, a great feeling and a wonderful crowd. I don't care about the referee, the important thing is that we won. That's all," he told Rai Sport.

"If we win the next game, then we can progress. It would be wonderful to play here in the final and we will do everything to get there, it doesn't matter who it is against.

"Do we have what it takes to reach the final? I think we really do."

Balotelli's yellow card for his celebration puts him in danger of suspension trouble, with two cautions leading to a one-game ban.

But that was news to Balotelli.

"I didn't know there was this rule about the two bookings leading to a suspension in this tournament. Next time I won't do it."

Meanwhile, Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said he was disappointed with the result after his team 'controlled' the match.

"We faced a great team with very good players. We knew we had to contain them and play directly through the midfield," he told reporters.

"We had a lot of moves when we were in good positions. I believe we could have had better luck. Of course nobody likes to lose.

"We hated losing the game like this, so near the end and after we controlled the game."




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