UEFA Nations League: Italy held by Dutch, Poland thrashes Bosnia

Lorenzo Pellegrini and Donny van de Beek scored first half goals as Italy and Netherlands played out a 1-1 draw in the UEFA Nations League match in Bergamo.

Published : Oct 15, 2020 09:18 IST , BERGAMO, Italy

Dutch players celebrate Donny van de Beek's 25th minute equaliser against Italy.
Dutch players celebrate Donny van de Beek's 25th minute equaliser against Italy.

Dutch players celebrate Donny van de Beek's 25th minute equaliser against Italy.

Italy extended its unbeaten run to 19 games with a 1-1 draw at home to the Netherlands on Wednesday, although it was knocked off the top of its UEFA Nations League group in the process.

Lorenzo Pellegrini put Italy ahead in the 16th minute of an entertaining game but Donny van de Beek levelled nine minutes later as the Dutch ended a run of three games without scoring.

Italy, with six points from four games, was overtaken at the top of League A Group One by Poland which beat Bosnia 3-0 and has seven. The Dutch are third with five.

However, that did not bother Italy coach Roberto Mancini.

“We'll win the last two games and we'll qualify,” he said.

The match was staged in Bergamo, where Italy last played in 2006, as a tribute to the northern city which was at the epicentre this year of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

The host, which has won 14 games and drawn five since its defeat in Portugal in September 2018, went ahead with its first real attack.


Nicolo Barella's diagonal crossfield pass found Pellegrini who collected the ball in his stride and clipped his shot past Jasper Cillessen.

Barella, who has flourished under Mancini's leadership, was again Italy's top player as he repeatedly opened up the Dutch defence.

Italy threatened from a similar move but, just as they seemed to be getting on top, the Dutch equalised.

Frenkie de Jong broke down the left and crossed, Memphis Depay's shot was blocked and Van de Beek reacted quickly to fire the rebound into the top of the net.

The game could have gone either way in an end-to-end second half but neither side could put the finishing touch to their approach work.

Lewandowski shines in 3-0 win over Bosnia

Robert Lewandowski showed his predatory instincts as he scored two superb goals to help Poland to a 3-0 home rout of 10-man Bosnia in their Nations League top-tier Group 1 match on Wednesday.

The result left the Poles top of the section on seven points from four games, one ahead of Italy which was held to a 1-1 home draw by the Netherlands. The Dutch have five points and Bosnia has two.

The Bosnians were on the back foot from the start but their task was made more difficult in the 15th minute after central defender Anel Ahmedhodzic was shown a straight red card for tripping Lewandowski with the striker through on goal.

Lewandowski missed a close-range sitter and then hit the post from the edge of the penalty area before he finally broke the deadlock with an unstoppable shot in the 40th minute, as Kamil Jozwiak teed him up with some neat footwork.


Karol Linetty made it 2-0 on the stroke of halftime with a clever downward header into the far corner past goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic, as Lewandowski turned provider with a sublime first-time pass into the midfielder's stride.

Lewandowski put the icing on the cake for the home side with another trademark finish in the 52nd minute, side-footing the ball into the top right corner after he beat the offside trap to meet an inch-perfect Mateusz Klich cross.

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