Spain slam ‘dry pitch’ after draw

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IOL pic june11 soccer spain italy pitch

Reuters

Italy's Christian Maggio (wearing blue socks) and Spain's Andres Iniesta battle for the ball in their Group C Euro 2012 soccer match at the PGE Arena in Gdansk. Spain have complained about the condition of the pitch, calling it too dry for their zippy gameplay.

Gdansk - Spain complained the Gdansk pitch was too dry and slow after the world and European champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy in their Euro 2012 Group C opener on Sunday.

Against a well-organised Italian side, the Spanish struggled to get their zippy passing game going on a surface that appeared heavy and officials were out mowing the grass immediately after the match.

“A pitch that is so dry does not do football or the spectators many favours,” Spain coach Vicente del Bosque told a news conference at which he also praised the Italian performance.

“If the pitch had been a bit quicker it would have been better for both teams and a better match,” he added.

Spain needed a 64th-minute Cesc Fabregas equaliser to rescue a point after substitute Antonio Di Natale had fired Italy ahead four minutes earlier.

Spanish forward Fernando Torres, who squandered two chances to snatch a winner after coming on for the last 15 minutes, said the team had “complained a lot” to organisers about the dryness of the grass before kickoff.

Man-of-the-match Andres Iniesta also added his voice to the criticism.

“In the end they (Italy) were able to benefit a lot from the pitch,” Torres said in an interview with Spanish television.

Iniesta added: “I think that for the spectator a pitch in good condition is always better.” - Reuters


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