Roberto Mancini Insists Italy Is ‘Doing Better Than Expected’ Despite Narrow 1-0 Win Over USA

?Roberto Mancini was pleased with his side’s effort as Italy earned a 1-0 win over the USA in a friendly in Belgium on Tuesday night.

The match looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw until Matteo Politano struck in the 94th minute to give Gli Azzuri only their third win in 11 matches. 

Italy v USA - International Friendly

In truth, the Italians thoroughly deserved the win as they enjoyed 74 per cent possession with six shots on target, compared to one solitary strike at goal from the Americans. After the game, Mancini referenced his side’s inability to take their chances, though he was still happy with the final result.

“We should have scored earlier,” Mancini said at the post-match press conference (reported via ?EuroSport). “It looked like it was going to finish 0-0 once again, but this result was more than deserved.

“At times we found ourselves quite stretched as a result of wanting to attack in numbers, but this is OK.”  

Italy v USA - International Friendly

?Inter forward Politano scored the only goal of the game after coming on in the 87th minute, as Mancini experimented with a new lineup for Italy.

“Everybody played very well,” he added. “We are where we want to be and are maybe even doing better than expected.

“We’re playing well, but need to pick up results when we start playing the European Championship qualifying games.”

Italy shockingly failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and will be hoping to get back on track with qualification to Euro 2020. La Nazionale will be in pot one for the Euro 2020 qualifying draw in Dublin on 2 December after finishing second in Nations League Group 3A.


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