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UEFA Nations League: Italy edge Netherlands 1-0

UEFA Nations League: Italy edge Netherlands 1-0
Italy’s Ciro Immobile (L) and Netherlands’ Frenkie de Jong vie for the ball during their UEFA Nations League match in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (AP)
Amsterdam, Sep 8 (IANS) | Publish Date: 9/8/2020 9:53:22 AM IST

Italy extended their two-year unbeaten run as Nicolo Barella scored the winning goal to help Roberto Mancini’s side beat the Netherlands 1-0 in UEFA Nations League Group A.

On Monday, Inter Milan midfielder Barella headed home in first-half stoppage time after receiving a long pass from Ciro Immobile, with the goal enough for Italy to clinch three points in Amsterdam, reports Xinhua news agency.

The victory also moved the Azzurri to top spot in Group A1 with four points from two games, one point clear of the Dutch, who are playing under interim coach Dwight Lodeweges following Ronald Koeman’s departure for Barcelona, and third-placed Poland, who came from one goal behind to beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 in Monday’s another action.

However, Nicolo Zaniolo’s injury before the break cast a cloud over the Italians’ victory. The Roma midfielder limped off in the first half following a collision with Donny van de Beek. 

Medical staff later confirmed that the 21-year-old had suffered “trauma” to his left knee and would undergo tests to “assess the full extent of the injury” when he returns to the Italian capital on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Poland, who were playing without leading striker Robert Lewandowski, registered their first victory of the tournament in Zenica.

Haris Hajradinovic put Bosnia ahead in the 24th minute with a penalty before Kamil Glik’s powerful header leveled the score for the visitors just before the break. Kamil Grosicki’s header in the 67th minute sealed Poland’s win.

Norway thrash Northern Ireland 5-1

Norway beat Northern Ireland 5-1 in their Nations League match with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland leading the charge with two goals and an assist in Belfast.

Mohamed Elyounoussi gave Norway the lead in the second minute but, after Paddy McNair equalised, Haaland got the goal of the game with an emphatic half-volley from the edge of the box that had keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell rooted to the spot.

Alexander Sorloth made it 3-1 when he scored from a cross at the far post and the striker doubled his tally two minutes after the restart when Norway launched a counter-attack and Haaland forced his way through to lay it on a plate for a simple tap-in.

Haaland then got his second by completing a fine move in which the ball moved up the pitch with precise one-touch passes for the 20-year-old hitman to curl it into the top corner.

Steven Davis equalled goalkeeper Pat Jennings’ record of 119 caps for Northern Ireland but it was a match to forget for the captain as they dropped to the bottom of the group.

The Romanians top League B Group 1 on four points with Norway third after losing their first match 2-1 to Austria who are one place above them but also have three points.

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