Italy's Domenico Berardi celebrates scoring their second goal.(REUTERS)
Italy's Domenico Berardi celebrates scoring their second goal.(REUTERS)

Italy back in contention; England out of Nations League

An Italy squad badly hit by the coronavirus still managed to beat Poland 2-0 on Sunday, putting the Azzurri in control of their group, while England was beaten 2-0 by top-ranked Belgium.
By Associated Press | ROME
UPDATED ON NOV 16, 2020 08:49 AM IST

Three years after an embarrassing failure to qualify for the World Cup, Italy is back in contention with the best in Europe.

England, meanwhile, is already out of contention for the Nations League finals with one round of matches still to play.

An Italy squad badly hit by the coronavirus still managed to beat Poland 2-0 on Sunday, putting the Azzurri in control of their group, while England was beaten 2-0 by top-ranked Belgium.

Another win at Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday will see Italy hosting the four-team finals in October -- just a few months after hosting the opening game of the European Championship in Rome.

“It’s our culture. Italians give their best during difficult moments and become more united. It’s what I asked of these guys before the game and they were extraordinary,” said assistant coach Alberico Evani, who has been standing in for head coach Roberto Mancini on the touchline.

Mancini is isolating at home with the coronavirus, as is striker Ciro Immobile, the winner of the European Golden Shoe last season. In all, more than 20 Italy players were unavailable due to the virus and injury.

Jorginho converted a penalty for Italy midway through the first half after Andrea Belotti was brought down inside the area. Domenico Berardi added another goal late in the second half after collecting a pass from Lorenzo Insigne.

“The more days went on, the more players kept leaving the camp, but we said to ourselves that we had to be even more united through these obstacles,” Belotti said. “It was a great performance and we proved that we were superior to Poland in every way this evening.

“We’re like a family, so coming back here is like a father embracing his son. That’s how we all feel when we come on international duty. We just need to look each other in the eyes to know what we’re doing,” Belotti added. “We dedicate this win to the coach, and also to everyone else who is self-isolating right now.”

Italy leads Group 1 in League A with nine points. The Netherlands is next with eight points after beating Bosnia 3-1. Poland is still in contention with seven points, while Bosnia trails with two.

BELGIUM NEARS FINALS

Dries Mertens scored a superb free kick as Belgium ended England’s hopes of reaching the finals.

Belgium took the lead 10 minutes in when Romelu Lukaku set up Youri Tielemans for a deflected shot.

Mertens made it 2-0 in the 24th by expertly curling his kick over the English wall — which mostly failed to jump — after Kevin De Bruyne was fouled.

Belgium leads Group 2 in League A with 12 points. Denmark is next with 10 following a 2-1 win over Iceland. England has seven and Iceland none.

Belgium needs only a draw at home with Denmark on Wednesday to reach the finals.

DE BOER FINALLY WINS

Frank de Boer finally has his first win as Netherlands coach after Georginio Wijnaldum scored a swift brace to lead his team to a 3-1 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Wijnaldum, captain in the absence of his injured Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk, tapped in from close range in the sixth and 14th minutes to set up the win in the empty Johan Cruyff Arena. Wijnaldum has now scored seven of his country’s last 12 goals.

Memphis Depay got the Netherlands’ third goal.

The victory eases pressure on De Boer, who became the first Netherlands coach not to register a win in his first four matches in charge when his team drew 1-1 with Spain on Wednesday, following a defeat and two more draws since taking over from Ronald Koeman.

WINNING WALES

Wales is the only unbeaten team in League B following a 1-0 win over Ireland, courtesy of David Brooks’ second-half header.

Now Wales needs only to avoid defeat at home against second-place Finland to earn promotion to the top tier.

“We didn’t play that well today, but we came out fighting in the second half. It’s another three points and that’s what matters and it sets up well for Wednesday,” said Wales captain Gareth Bale. “We have a great record at the moment and it’s great to get the win. I love playing for Wales, but the most important thing is that this team keeps winning.”

In Group 1, Austria beat Northern Ireland 2-1 to also stay on course for promotion with four wins in five games.

In League C, North Macedonia maintained its momentum after qualifying for the European Championship by beating Estonia 2-1 to lead Group 2.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Barcelona's Martin Braithwaite, second left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Spanish Copa del Rey round of 32 soccer match between Cornella and FC Barcelona at the Nou Municipal stadium in Cornella,(AP)
Barcelona's Martin Braithwaite, second left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Spanish Copa del Rey round of 32 soccer match between Cornella and FC Barcelona at the Nou Municipal stadium in Cornella,(AP)

Barca edge past minnows Cornella despite missing two penalties

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 08:40 AM IST
Barcelona missed two penalties in normal time, with midfielder Miralem Pjanic being thwarted late in the first half by Cornella keeper Ramon Juan before Dembele hit straight at the feet of the 21-year-old in the 80th minute from yet another spot-kick.
Close
Burnley's Ashley Barnes, right, runs to celebrate his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley in Liverpool, England, (AP)
Burnley's Ashley Barnes, right, runs to celebrate his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley in Liverpool, England, (AP)

Liverpool's 68-match unbeaten EPL home run ended by Burnley

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 08:03 AM IST
  • Ashley Barnes scored from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute after the forward was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker as Burnley became the first team to win in the league at Anfield since April 2017.
Close
India national coach Igor Stimac.(AIFF)
India national coach Igor Stimac.(AIFF)

There will be lots of changes to the national team: Igor Stimac

By Dhiman Sarkar, Bhargab Sarmah
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:59 AM IST
  • Before he starts work with a preparatory camp likely to be in Dubai from March, Stimac spoke about why he is happy with what he has seen in ISL this season and more in this exclusive interview.
Close
Ronaldo scored his 760th career goal in Juve’s 2-0 Italian Supercup win over Napoli. (Getty Images)
Ronaldo scored his 760th career goal in Juve’s 2-0 Italian Supercup win over Napoli. (Getty Images)

Ronaldo yet to break all-time scoring record, Czech FA claims

Reuters
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:18 PM IST
  • The Czech Football Association has disputed claims that Cristiano Ronaldo broke the all-time goal-scoring record, insisting he needs another 62 to surpass Josef Bican’s tally.
Close
Sergio Aguero reacts. (Getty Images)
Sergio Aguero reacts. (Getty Images)

Man City striker Sergio Aguero tests positive for Covid-19

AP, Manchester, England
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 08:30 PM IST
  • Sergio Aguero had already been self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of someone infected.
Close
File photo of Mario Mandžukić(AP)
File photo of Mario Mandžukić(AP)

AC Milan means business with Mario Mandžukić signing

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:37 PM IST
Mario Mandžukić's signing this week is tantamount to a statement of title intentions. Hitherto having maintained that its goal was returning to the Champions League after a seven-year absence by securing only a top-four finish, Milan now appears firmly set on winning Serie A.
Close
Diogo Dalot of AC Milan in action. (Getty Images.)
Diogo Dalot of AC Milan in action. (Getty Images.)

'Demanding' Ibrahimovic boosts Dalot at Milan

AP, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:21 PM IST
  • Dalot, 21, is at the heart of the defense of an AC Milan side which has been propelled to the top of the Italian league by the 39-year-old Ibrahimovic.
Close
Zinedine Zidane reacts after Real Madrid's 1-2 loss to Alcoyano. (Getty Images)
Zinedine Zidane reacts after Real Madrid's 1-2 loss to Alcoyano. (Getty Images)

Zidane under fire as Real Madrid loses again

AP, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:15 PM IST
  • The embarrassing 2-1 loss in the round of 32 added to Madrid’s recent struggles and left Zidane under increased pressure.
Close
Football representational image(HT Image)
Football representational image(HT Image)

Football Delhi announces scholarship of U-16 players for college admission in US

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 03:04 PM IST
Each year, two talented footballers -- a junior boy and a girl -- will be identified based on their football and academic achievements for a scholarship.
Close
Chairman of Executive Board of FC Bayern M�nchen Karl-Heinz Rummenigge speaks during the "Germany's Athletes of the Year 2020" award ceremony in Baden-Baden on December 20, 2020. (Photo by Tom Weller / POOL / AFP)(AFP)
Chairman of Executive Board of FC Bayern M�nchen Karl-Heinz Rummenigge speaks during the "Germany's Athletes of the Year 2020" award ceremony in Baden-Baden on December 20, 2020. (Photo by Tom Weller / POOL / AFP)(AFP)

UEFA considering switch to single host for this summer's Euros: Rummenigge

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 02:59 PM IST
The 24-nation tournament, a major revenue generator for European football's governing body and the national federations, was postponed by 12 months due to the pandemic.
Close
File photo of Paul Pogba(REUTERS)
File photo of Paul Pogba(REUTERS)

Manchester United's Pogba one of the best when in form, says Ferdinand

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 02:24 PM IST
Pogba scored with a blistering left-foot shot as United defeated Fulham 2-1 on Wednesday to return to the top of the Premier League table. He also scored the winner against Burnley last week.
Close
Soccer Football - Bundesliga - FC Augsburg v Bayern Munich - WWK Arena, Augsburg, Germany - January 20, 2021 Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scores their first goal from the penalty spot Pool via REUTERS/Andreas Gebert DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video.(Pool via REUTERS)
Soccer Football - Bundesliga - FC Augsburg v Bayern Munich - WWK Arena, Augsburg, Germany - January 20, 2021 Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scores their first goal from the penalty spot Pool via REUTERS/Andreas Gebert DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video.(Pool via REUTERS)

Lewandowski's penalty keeps Bayern 4 points clear of Leipzig

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:53 AM IST
Lewandowski scored his 22nd goal of the season – a league record after 17 games – from the spot after a foul from Augsburg midfielder Rani Khedira on Lucas Hernández.
Close
Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring their first goal(Pool via REUTERS)
Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring their first goal(Pool via REUTERS)

City breaks down Villa's resistance to win 2-0 in EPL

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:37 AM IST
An end-to-end match in which City lost Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker to injuries looked to be heading for a draw, despite the home team's dominance, when Silva received a pass from Rodri and smashed home a shot from the edge of the area in the 79th minute.
Close
Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their second goal Pool via (Pool via REUTERS)
Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their second goal Pool via (Pool via REUTERS)

In-form Pogba keeping Man United in front in EPL title race

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 07:38 AM IST
Pogba twisted and turned, maneuvering himself into a pocket of space before unleashing a powerful left-foot shot that curled into the far corner and secured another win for United.
Close
Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates following the Italian Super Cup final soccer match between Juventus and Napoli at the Mapei stadium in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Juventus won the match 2-0.(AP)
Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates following the Italian Super Cup final soccer match between Juventus and Napoli at the Mapei stadium in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Juventus won the match 2-0.(AP)

Ronaldo helps Juventus beat Napoli to win Italian Super Cup

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 07:27 AM IST
It was Juve’s ninth Super Cup title, taking it two above AC Milan, which is the team with the second most victories in the competition.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP