Italy 1 Netherlands 1 – Netherlands hold Italy to a thrilling draw after Van De Beel equalizer
2020-21 UEFA Nations League – Matchday 4 of 6 Report – Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Italy 1 Netherlands 1 – Group A1
Netherlands got its first goal under new coach Frankie De Boer after they held Italy to a 1-1 draw at the Gewiss stadium in Bergamo. It was the Italian team’s first match in Bergamo after 2006, staged as a tribute to the northern city which was at the epicentre of the outbreak in Italy earlier this year.
Coming to game, the hosts went ahead in the 16th minute when Nicolo Barella’s diagonal cross-field pass found Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini who collected the ball and clipped his shot past goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
The Italians now were repeatedly threatening the Dutch defense with Barella especially repeatedly opening up the Dutch back line.
Just as the Azzurris seemed to be getting on top of their game, the Dutch equalizer came much against the run of play.
The 25th minute saw Frankie de Jong breaking into a run down the left and delivering a cross to Memphis Depay who dribbled and shot powerfully at Italian custodian Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Donnarumma’s block was not clean as it rebounded to Donny van de Beek who reacted quickly before firing into the top of the net.
Van De Beek’s strike was incidentally Netherlands first goal after 526 minutes of play thus avoiding an embarrassing run of four games without a goal for the first time in their history.
It was an end-to-end affair in the second half with opportunities coming to either side.
An error by Dutch right-back Hans Hateboer gave the Italians their best chance to go ahead again when Lazio striker Ciro Immobile found himself in a one-on-one situation with keeper Cillessen but the Lazio striker was too close to the latter to execute a proper finish.
Donnarumma was again in action when he saved his side a little later with an excellent block from Depay.
Italy after the drawn game were in the 2nd place of the A1 cluster, with six points from four games and were overtaken at the top by Poland who beat Bosnia 3-0 and have seven points consequently.
The Netherlands have settled at the third with 5 points from their four outings and are still looking for their first away win in the UEFA Nations League (D3 L2).
Donnarumma (goal); D’Ambrosio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Verratti, Jorginho, Barella; Chiesa, Immobile, Pellegrini
Subs: Locatelli 56m, Kean 56m, Florenzi 73m
Cillessen (goal); Blind, Ake, Van Dijk, De Vrij, Hateboer; Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek; Depay, Luuk de Jong
Subs: Veltman 77m, Babel 92m
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