Piturca - Italy were lucky
Romania coach Victor Piturca believes Italy were ¿lucky¿ to escape with a draw in their Group C game.
Last Updated: 14/06/08 11:45am
Romania coach Victor Piturca is happy with the way Romania have performed in their opening two games, but he believes Italy were 'lucky' to escape with a draw.
Despite being perceived as the outsiders in the 'group of death', Romania go into their final game against Holland with a chance of making it to the quarter-finals, having drawn 0-0 with France in their first match before earning a 1-1 draw against Italy.
But it could have been very different for Romania had Adrian Mutu converted a penalty nine minutes from time against the world champions and, while Piturca knows they have done well so far, he believes they should be in an even better position.
"To take a point from the world champions and the runners-up and have a chance of qualifying from the final match is a good achievement," he said.
"Overall, it was a fair result, although we should of course have scored from the penalty.
"I think we gained a point rather than dropped two. We controlled the match and were in the lead and had the penalty, but I think we should be satisfied.
"We could say Italy was lucky, of course. When you have a penalty and the player does not manage to score, obviously that is a lucky thing for Italy."
While Mutu's failure to score from spot will take most of the headlines, Piturca insists he was most disappointed that his side conceded an equaliser just one minute after taking a 55th-minute lead.
"Penalties have been missed on many occasions in so many tournaments. It is nothing new. I am more upset by the way they managed to score against us.
"I think maybe Mutu, he was influenced by the fact Buffon is one of the world's great goalkeepers, but actually he did not miss - Buffon saved it."
There was bad news for Romania after the game as it was revealed that holding midfielder Mirel Radoi is expected to require eye surgery after colliding with team-mate Razvan Rat during the game.
"Apparently he will need eye surgery and he has a broken nose too," Piturca said. "I've not spoken to the doctor, but I don't think there is any chance he will play the next game."