Second match syndrome at Italy
Costa Rica may seem favourable opposition, but Luca Persico warns of how second group stage games have recently proved problematic for Italy.
Italy can qualify for the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup - depending on the outcome of England-Uruguay - with a victory against Costa Rica. It is seemingly a perfect scenario, but history shows that they should be wary.
The Azzurri are labelled as slow starters, but their recent record in opening tournament matches - five wins in their last nine - far out weighs their return from second games played. The 4-3 victory against Japan at the 2013 Confederations Cup was a first second matchday in 13 years.
Costa Rica’s 3-1 win over Uruguay, and Cesare Prandelli’s respect for them, should mean Italy don’t underestimate Los Ticos, but it may be their recent struggles in second group stage matches that best suggests it won’t be straightforward.
The second matchs of Italy on big Competitions:
|Competitions and Date||Teams and Score|
|Euro 2000||Italy 2-0 Belgium|
|2002 World Cup|| Italy 1-2 Croatia|
|Euro 2004|| taly 1-1 Sweden|
|2006 World Cup|| Italy 1-1 United States|
|Euro 2008|| Italy 1-1 Romania|
|2009 Confederations Cup|| Italy 0-1 Egypt|
|2010 World Cup|| Italy 1-1 New Zealand|
|Euro 2012|| Italy 1-1 Croatia|
|2013 Confederations Cup|| Italy 4-3 Japan|
World Cup 2014