Italy coach Marcello Lippi stands by his squad selection, despite another disappointing result last night.

The Azzurri fought back from a Shane Smeltz opener with Vincenzo Iaquinta's penalty in the 1-1 draw with New Zealand.

He said: "I am convinced that these players were the right ones to bring. Trust me, we didn't leave these superstars at home who could've changed the match. I don't regret my decisions at all.

"There are players here with a strong character, having proved that in Serie A and internationally. It's not an issue of character. There is a lack of sharpness, we will try to evaluate what is causing that, but there isn't necessarily a clear-cut answer to everything."