Italy's once vaunted defense in shambles

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Coach Cesare Prandelli has always dismissed Italy's once infamous ''catenaccio'' defense as a relic of the past.

Well, he might want to reach back into the annals of history now.

Italy conceded eight goals over their three group matches at the Confederations Cup, the most it has ever given away in the first round of a tournament.

The goals have been piling up in greater numbers from one match to the next - one against Mexico, three against Japan and four against Brazil on Saturday.

And it doesn't look like it will get any easier for Italy in Thursday's semifinal, when the opponent will likely be World Cup holder Spain.

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