Sports

Nations League: Bosnia halt Italy’s winning streak

Nations League: Bosnia halt Italy’s winning streak
Players of Italy and Bosnia vie for the ball during their Nations League match.
Rome, Sep5 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 9/5/2020 9:00:58 AM IST

Stefano Sensi’s second international goal rescued Italy a Nations League draw as their 11-game winning streak came to an end in a 1-1 stalemate with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Azzurri arrived in Florence looking to extend their record-breaking run of consecutive victories to 12 but found themselves up against a resolute defence and undone by the visitors’ veteran Serie A striker Edin Dzeko, who scored from close range after 57 minutes.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini opted to leave last season’s European Golden Boot winner Ciro Immobile out of his starting line-up and watched as his forwards squandered the few chances that came their way.

But Sensi applied a cool finish to Lorenzo Insigne’s cross after the talented attacker teed him up in the 67th minute to avoid a shock defeat.

Federico Chiesa hit the side-netting from six yards as Italy probed for an opener and Insigne whipped a 20-yard free-kick just over the crossbar after 17 minutes.

Bosnia-Herzegovina wingers Armin Hodzic and Edin Visca made their presence felt, linking up in a fast break before the latter lashed a fierce shot high and wide from 12 yards shortly before the half-hour mark.

The Azzurri survived a scare when Hodzic rounded Gianluigi Donnarumma seven minutes into the second half before hitting the outside of the post from an extremely tight angle.

After Insigne had a close-range header saved by Ibrahim Sehic, Dzeko broke the deadlock with a simple left-footed finish into the bottom-right corner of the net having been found by Toni Sunjic’s knockdown six yards out.

Ten minutes later, Insigne’s cross found Sensi unmarked just inside the penalty area and he side-footed a low shot that took a deflection on its way past Sehic into the bottom corner of the net.

Alessandro Florenzi should have won it when he burst into the box with 19 minutes left but his low drive from 12 yards was well saved by the diving Sehic.

 

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