The Citizen (KZN)

Azzurri extend long unbeaten run

- Paris

– Nicolo Barella extended Italy’s two-year unbeaten run as he scored the winner in Monday’s 1-0 victory away to the Netherland­s in the Nations League while Erling Haaland (right) netted twice for Norway in a 5-1 thrashing of Northern Ireland.

Roberto Mancini’s Italy saw their record 11-match winning streak end with last week’s draw against Bosnia and Herzegovin­a but got the better of the Netherland­s in Amsterdam courtesy of Inter Milan midfielder Barella’s header in first-half stoppage time.

“It was a great performanc­e by the entire team, we played with personalit­y.

“We earned a great result and we are all happy, especially with the performanc­e,” said winger Lorenzo Insigne.

“We could have scored more goals and killed the game but we still earned the three points. That is what counts most.”

However there was concern for Nicolo Zaniolo who limped off with a knee problem. The Roma midfielder had only returned from a serious left knee injury in the summer.

Italy move top of League A,

Group One, while Poland registered their first points after a 2-1 win over Bosnia in Zeneca despite the continued absence of rested striker Robert Lewandowsk­i.

Haris Hajradinov­ic put Bosnia ahead on 24 minutes with a penalty but Kamil Glik’s powerful header pulled Poland level at the break before Kamil Grosicki nodded home the winner.

Romania came out on top against Austria in Klagenfurt, with Denis Alibec, Dragos Grigore and Alexandru Maxim on target in a 3-2 victory.

Christoph Baumgartne­r had equalised for the hosts and Karim Onisiwo struck a late consolatio­n goal as Austria ceded top place in League B, Group One to their opponents.

Scotland scraped past an inexperien­ced Czech Republic 2-1 in Olomouc to go top of League B, Group Two. – AFP

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