14 June 2019
European Qualifiers, Italy come from behind to beat Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe Azzurri cancelled out Dzeko's opener thanks to an Insigne stunner and Verratti's late winner. Mancini's side have now won four in four.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Italy made it past Bosnia and Herzegovina in qualifying for Euro 2020. The team struggled in the first half but the Azzurri were able to turn things around and preserve their perfect record in Group J and establish an eight-point lead over tonight’s opponents who were considered to be the main rivals for top spot.
Robert Prosinecki’s side featured Serie A stars like Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic and couldn’t afford to make more mistakes after their loss to Finland.
Italy only played one other game against Bosnia and Herzegovina, losing 2-1 in a friendly in 1996 to Salihamdzic and Bolic goals in Sarajevo while Chiesa netted for Italy. That was Arrigo Sacchi’s last match as Italy Head Coach before being replaced by Cesare Maldini.
The Azzurri have played 38 times in Turin (24 wins, 9 draws and 5 defeats, 79 goals for and 38 against) and only Rome (58, 34/17/7) and Milan (58, 37/19/2) have hosted more fixtures.
Mancini set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation. Sirigu was in goal with Mancini at right-back, Bonucci and Chiellini were the centre-back partnership with Emerson at left-back. The midfield three was Barella, Jorginho and Verratti with Bernardeschi, Insigne and Quagliarella up front.
Italy started strongly but the Bosnian counterattacks were causing some problems for the defence, especially through Dzeko and the pacy Visca. In the 20th minute, Bonucci did excellently to block from the later. After 30 minutes, the visitors took the lead after Dzeko applied the finish to a great team move.
It was the first goal against in six matches (599 minutes since Donnarumma or Sirigu had last conceded) but Mancini’s side kept going and Quagliarella almost levelled just before the break but Sehic tipped it wide.
The tempo stayed high in the second half. After a big Gojak chance, Lorenzo Insigne pulled the Azzurri level with a stunning goal. Bernardeschi played a corner to him with him waiting outside the area and he volleyed it home to send the home crowd crazy. It was his second goal in as many games for Italy.
Despite conceding, Prosinecki’s side remained confident and kept attacking. Dzeko forced a stop from Sirigu in the 59th minute while Insigne missed from close range on 70 minutes. By this point, Bosnia and Herzegovina seemed happy to leave with a draw but Italy kept pushing for the win late on.
In the 86th minute, Insigne picked Verratti out at the top of the area and he curled the ball right into the corner, leaving Sehic with no chance to spark celebrations in the stands and dugout. At the whistle, Italy could celebration another win in Euro 2020 qualification as the side remains top of Group J on full points.
Matchday four (11 June)
Greece 2-3 Armenia
Liechtenstein 0-2 Finland
ITALY 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Table: ITALY 12 points, Finland 9, Armenia 6, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece 4, Liechtenstein 0
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta); Salvatore Sirigu (Torino), Antonio Mirante (Roma);
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Armando Izzo (Torino), Gianluca Mancini (Atalanta), Alessio Romagnoli (Milan);
Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Cagliari), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Frello Filho Jorge Luiz Jorginho (Chelsea), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Stefano Sensi (Sassuolo), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain), Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma);
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Vincenzo Grifo (Friburgo), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Moise Kean (Juventus), Leonardo Pavoletti (Cagliari), Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria).
Staff – Head Coach: Roberto Mancini; National Team Coordintaor: Gabriele Oriali; Assistant Coaches: Alberico Evani, Attilio Lombardo, Giulio Nuciari, Fausto Salsano; Fitness coaches: Claudio Donatelli and Andrea Scanavino; Goalkeeping coach: Massimo Battara; Match Analyst: Antonio Gagliardi; Doctors: Andrea Ferretti and Carmine Costabile; Physiotherapist: Maurizio Fagorzi, Emanuele Randelli, Fabrizio Scalzi, Luca Lascialfari, Fabio Sannino; Hosteopath: Walter Marinelli; Nutritionist: Matteo Pincella.