• Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 05:24 pm

Biraghi saves Italy, gives Mancini first competitive win

  • Published at 11:04 am October 15th, 2018
cristiano_biraghi_italy
Italy's Cristiano Biraghi celebrates his goal against Poland during their Uefa Nations League match at Silesian Stadium on Sunday Reuters

Cristiano Biraghi slid in the winner two minutes into injury time for his first goal for Italy in a game his team had dominated

Cristiano Biraghi snatched a late victory to give new Italy coach Roberto Mancini his first competitive victory and keep the Azzurri's Nations League hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Poland in their League A Group 3 clash in Chorzow on Sunday.

Defender Biraghi, 26, slid in the winner two minutes into injury time for his first goal for Italy in a game his team had dominated. The defeat ensured Poland were relegated to League B.

It gives Mancini his first competitive victory since taking over as Italy coach last May, after the four-time world champions failure to qualify for the World Cup.

"A new cycle has already begun," said Mancini

"We dominated the game, we had to score the first goal, it would have been unfair to finish 0-0.

"All the lads are trying to do their best. It's a good win in a very good game."

Fiorentina defender Biraghi made the sign '13' with his hands when he scored, as he dedicated his first goal to former Italy and Fiorentina captain Davide Astori who died of a heart attack last March.

"I owe everything to him. I'm here thanks to Davide who was a mentor for me," said Biraghi, who was called up to Italy for the first time last month at the age of 26.

European champions Portugal lead the three-team group with six points from two games with Italy on four points after three games with Poland relegated to League B with one point.

Mancini stuck with the same eleven he started with in last Wednesday's 1-1 draw against the Ukraine with Federico Bernardeschi, Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa leading the attack.

Nicolo Barella, 21, was chosen to start over Lorenzo Pellegrini in midfield after making his international debut in Genoa.

Poland opted for the strike partnership of Robert Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik over Genoa forward Krzysztof Piatek, who has scored 14 goals in ten competitive games for club and country.

Italy had the best of the first half but once again demonstrated their difficulty finishing off.

Jorginho rattled the bar within the first minute, with Federico Chiesa also hitting the woodwork after half an hour in the Silesian Stadium.

Poland could thank Wojciech Szczesny for keeping them in the game with the under-pressure goalkeeper denying Alessandro Florenzi, Jorginho, Federico Bernardeschi and Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini in the first half.

Italy had a goal disallowed after 65 minutes following a well-worked pass between Bernardeschi and Marco Verratti with Insigne offside in the box.

Poland also had a couple of chances in the second half with Kamil Grosicki denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma, with Arkadiusz Milik curling over.

Just when it looked as if both sides would settle for a draw, off the last corner, substitute Kevin Lasagna, who made his international debut, steered in for the Biraghi to finish off.

"It had looked as if the match was jinxed," said Biraghi. 

"The minutes were going by and the ball wouldn't go in.

"When you create a lot and the ball doesn't go in you start to get nervous, even risk losing.

"Instead we stayed calm and believed until the end. This victory is thanks to the group's never say die attitude."

The result ensures Italy stayed in the tier ahead of December's Euro 2020 qualifying draw.

Italy next host Portugal on November 17 with Poland playing in Portugal three days later.

RESULTS: 

Poland 0 Italy 1 (Biraghi 90+2)

51
51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail