Spain defeat hard to take, admits Iniesta as champions crash out of Euro 2016

Two-time defending champs outclassed by Italy, admits Barca star

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 June, 2016, 4:04am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 June, 2016, 4:04am

Spain playmaker Andres Iniesta admitted the reigning champions paid the price for a sloppy first half as they crashed out of Euro 2016 to Italy on Monday and said the defeat was hard to take.

“Few words. We have to accept the disappointment. They were more clinical than us when it mattered and got the better of us,” Iniesta said.

Italy ran out 2-0 winners at the Stade de France with Giorgio Chiellini opening the scoring in the first half and Graziano Pelle securing the victory at the death.

“I think we were waiting too much to see what they would do and at times these things penalise you. That was the mistake we made in the first half. The second half was different and we were more like ourselves,” Iniesta added.

Spain had started the competition in promising fashion with wins against the Czech Republic and Turkey but a 2-1 defeat to Croatia condemned them to second place in Group D and a clash with the Italians, who now go on to play Germany in the quarter-finals.

“It’s harder to take given the way the team had been playing but it’s something we have to accept now and move on,” Iniesta acknowledged.