Roberto Mancini pleased with Italy’s late win over the United States


Italy manager Roberto Mancini has admitted that he was pleased with his team’s performance after they picked up a slender 1-0 win over United States in an international duty. The Azzurri were recently frustrated with a goalless stalemate against Portugal and the United States game appeared to be going the same way before Matteo Politano found the breakthrough in the 94th minute.

Speaking after the game, Mancini said that he was relieved by the outcome, given his side have not been rewarded for the chances created of late, he told RAI Sport: “It was heading to 0-0 again… but that’s football, there’s nothing you can do about it. We had so many chances, the important thing is that it was a good performance. It was the first time we were playing together, so we couldn’t think of playing like the first half for 90 minutes. We got a little stretched out as we pushed harder to find the breakthrough.”

Italy have been on a transitional phase since Mancini took over the reins and the former Manchester City boss has not been afraid of making wholesale changes to the first XI, judging by the performances of the players. Nonetheless, the Azzurri should be left disappointed after managing only a second place finish in their Nations League group but they have time to regroup before the qualification phase for Euro 2020 starts.

Meanwhile, the newly formed Nations League has brought plenty of surprises with the final round of fixtures witnessing the failure of Spain, France and Belgium to reach the finals of the competition next year. In their places, England, Netherlands and Switzerland respectively made progress and the latter in particular have grabbed the headlines after they secured a shock 5-2 comeback triumph over the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists. Benfica’s Haris Seferovic was the star performer with a sublime hat trick for the Swiss.