Christian Vieri has criticised the referee’s assistant at the centre of two hotly disputed decisions during Italy’s 2-1 defeat to Croatia.

The Inter striker thought he had scored for Italywhen he headed home Gianluca Zambrotta’s flick at the start of the second half, but the linesman flagged incorrectly for offside.

Then, with Italy trailing 2-1 and chasing the game, the same official penalised Pippo Inzaghi, for shirt-pulling when Marco Materazzi’s long ball rolled into the net.

“I don’t blame the referee but that assistant should only work in amateur matches,” Vieri said.

“I think that my goal at the beginning of second half and the second one at the very end of the match were perfectly fine. Marco Materazzi scored. Pippo Inzaghi didn’t touch the ball at all,” he added.