From ELIAS CHIPEPO in Suwon, South Korea –
ITALY coach Alberico Evani has said tomorrow’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup quarterfinal match against Zambia would offer his side the opportunity to revenge the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games 4-0 defeat.
Evani, who missed that match due to injury, said he was happy that he would be on the bench this time as coach and guide the Azzurini into the last four and inflict defeat on Zambia.
“I remember that match very well because I was part of the team that played in the Olympics Games. I played in all the matches at the competition but was injured for the Zambia match and I watched from the bench,” he said.
Evani would come up against Beston Chambeshi, who was part of the Zambian team in 1988 and is also managing the Under-20 national team at the ongoing World Cup.
“I remember the match very well and Zambia was better than us. I wasn’t on the pitch because I was injured but this time I will be on the pitch as a coach and yes, if possible, I want revenge against Zambia but I know it won’t be easy but will try,” he said.
The former Italian and AC Milan midfielder said in an interview at the team Hotel yesterday that his side would need to be wary of a Zambian side that is good on counter attack.
Italy started their campaign with a 0-1 loss to Uruguay but recovered beating South Africa 2-0 then squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-all with Japan in the final group match.
“It felt great beating France, it was a good match but now we have to prepare against a tough match because Zambia is not a team you would want to give chance to attack you,” Evani said.
He said he has watched Zambia on video describing the team as a difficult one to play against because they play and fight as a team and always there for each other.
“The Zambians attack with a lot of players, they help each other…there team spirit is very good and has been key in the progress but of course they play very good attacking football,” he said.
Evani said he would expect the players to have the same mentality like was the case when they played France.
He said all the two teams have 50-50 chance to win the tie and advance to the last four.
“We must not give Zambia opportunity for attack because they are very quick, the strikers are too quick and we must be wary of their counter attacks. It is always 50-50 before any match, all teams have equal chance but the one who plays better wins the match,” Evani said.
Meanwhile, FIFA has appointed Ecuador referee Roddy Zambrano to handle Monday evening clash and would be assisted by his countrymen Christian Lescano and Bryon Romero.