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Jun 23, 2013

Italy suffer double injury blow

Italy have been dealt a massive blow after the loss to Brazil in the Confederations Cup with both Ignazio Abate and Riccardo Montolivo added to the injury list.

• Vickery: Secret to success
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In a game which Italy boss Cesare Prandelli believed his squad 'deserved' a better result, Abate had his Confederations Cup dream cruelled, his tournament over after dislocating his shoulder.

Meanwhile, Montolivo was sent to hospital for tests after suffering a knock that may have caused "head trauma".

"The dislocation was reduced straight after and (Abate) is feeling better, but he will certainly not be able to play the next games," Chief medic Professor Enrico Castellacci told the media.

On Montolivo, Castellacci added: "I don't want to worry anyone, but it is only right to make absolutely sure there are no problems."

However, there is some good news for the Italians, with Andrea Pirlo, who missed the game against the Brazilians, a chance to play in the semi-finals.

"We are working on it and hope he can recover soon," Castellacci said. "As there are fewer players available, we need his character."

Meanwhile, Prandelli was pleased his side were able to overcome the early losses of Abate and Montolivo, praising his players' performances against the home side.

"We had a great performance in the second half and deserved an equaliser, but against great players it takes nothing for them to punish you," Prandelli told Rai Sport.

"I am very satisfied, as we played the second half with great character. The reaction was excellent, we attacked the space and at 3-2 we could've drawn level.

"We were forced into two early changes, so it was tough, but after the break we saw our system and it worked."

In the Brazilian camp, both defender Dante and forward Fred were delighted to find themselves on the scoresheet against the resilient Italians.

"It seems like a joke, but it isn't," Dante told reporters. "I was dreaming about this [scoring against Italy, in Bahia].

"I bought 60 tickets for my family, so there's a lot of people there who came here to see me. I wanted to show them something, show something to my family and to everyone else who came here to see us."

Fred's goals broke a barren run for the Fluminense striker and the 28-year-old said it was a 'present' to finally hit the back of the net.

"I was really bothered with the lack of goals, but I kept on working hard and I always felt the trust the lads passed on to me," Fred admitted to reporters. "Thank God everyone worked out, with the victory and the goals.

"When I said that [that I wanted to score one goal per game] it was because I wanted to score lots of goals. To a centre forward, it is always important to play well. If you can't score, then at least assist, and today I got this present of a great match. I'm really happy."

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