UEFA Nations League: Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal beat Italy

first_imgAndre Silva scored in the second half to help Portugal beat Italy for the first time in a competitive match since 1957.Playing without superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal started their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 1-0 win over Italy in Lisbon on Monday.Forward Silva scored three minutes after half-time in the League A Group 3 game to give the Portugal a historic victory.Italy manager Robverto Mancini, in only his second competitive match in charge, made nine changes to the team which started Friday’s 1-1 draw at home to Poland but his side was on the back foot for most of the match and struggled to create any real danger.Primeiro jogo da Liga das Nações #PORITA | 1-0 | #TudoPorPortugal #NationsLeague pic.twitter.com/7Ejcz9zdSRPortugal (@selecaoportugal) September 10, 2018Italy forward Mario Balotelli, widely criticised after his performance against the Poles, did not even make the substitutes bench and watched the match from the stands.Italy, who missed out on this year’s World Cup for the first time in 60 years, are without a win in four competitive matches.”The players gave all they could, but to win you need to score goals so we must find a remedy,” said Mancini. “We made mistakes, and we must try to limit them.””I didn’t enjoy the defeat, but I did like the team’s desire to keep trying right until the end, even if they were at risk of conceding a second goal.”Portugal, who agreed to give their record scorer Ronaldo time to adapt following his move to Juventus from Real Madrid, lead the group with three points, ahead of Poland and Italy on one each.advertisement52.655 no estádio a dar #TudoPorPortugal! Este aplauso é para vocês! pic.twitter.com/5Ssb6sl2s3Portugal (@selecaoportugal) September 10, 2018The European champions dominated the first half against the Italians but failed to make the most of their chances.Portugal’s Bernardo Silva saw a shot cleared off the line by Alessio Romagnoli, Mario Rui’s shot was deflected onto the bar and a William Carvalho shot fizzed past Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s post from 25 metres.The deadlock was finally broken after halftime.Bruma, wearing the number seven shirt which usually belongs to Ronaldo, dispossessed Italian debutant Manuel Lazzari, burst into the area and found Silva who curled a shot past Donnarumma from 12 metres.Portugal, in typically pragmatic style, dropped back after the goal but Italy did little with the extra possession.Their best chance fell to Simone Zaza who beat Carvalho to a corner but headed over from close range.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more