While the international break has been good for qualifiers, unfortunately, we’ve all still been subjected to the dreaded friendlies that the majority of fans consider to be pretty pointless. A lot of the games that are dubbed as friendlies don’t tend to be particularly well received by general football fans, and up until the very end of this encounter, the same thing was true. Alas, it’s never over until it’s over, and Italy proved that tonight with a last gasp winner over the United States to give them confidence as their journey towards UEFA Euro 2020 continues.
Funnily enough both of these nations were considered to be shock absentees from the 2018 FIFA World Cup this past summer in Russia, with their failure to qualify being seen as a massive failure by many. Still, even though that was the case, this game wasn’t really all that even and resembled one of those infuriating games of FIFA in which you just can’t break through the opposition.
Italy had a grand total of 17 shots on target from the first minute until the very last, but they couldn’t quite break down a resolute American defence. It’s fair to say both nations have improved substantially since their qualification period for the aforementioned WC, but at the same time, there’s still a long way to go before they can get back to the positions they were once at.
Down and out
The States tried to hold on despite only having 26% possession and they felt like they were about to come away with an unlikely draw, when Matteo Politano popped up in the 94th minute to send the Italian fans wild in Belgium.
Both countries will head back to the drawing board with there being a lot of work that can be done to improve their respective fortunes, as the States aim to find some cohesion throughout their squad whereas Italy attempt to rediscover that killer instinct that has won them so many tournaments throughout the years.
Italy: Sirigu (6.5), De Sciglio (6), Bonucci (7), Acerbi (6.5), Emerson (6.5), Barella (6), Gagliardini (N/A), Sensi (6), Verratti (6), Chiesa (6.5), Lasagna (6), Berardi (6), Grifo (6.5), Politano (7.5), Kean (6)
United States: Horvath (6.5), Carter-Vickers (6), Zimmerman (6.5), Long (6), Adams (6.5), Cannon (6), Delgado (6), Acosta (6), Moore (5.5), Pulisic (6), Sargent (6), Villafana (N/A), Trapp (6), Lletget (N/A), Gall (N/A), Wood (6.5)
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir
Yellow Cards: De Sciglio, Sensi, Cannon, Acosta, Moore
Red Cards: N/A
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