Did You Know?
Italy Took The Third Place.
Italy recovered from their first defeat in 3 years when they suffered that defeat against Spain and this time around, they took on the faltering Belgium and they won 2-1 to secure the 3rd place of the UEFA Nations League.
It was a long journey for both teams but Belgium faltered twice when it mattered as they suffered a back to back defeat at the hands of France who came from behind to win 3-2 despite leading France by 2-0 and now, at the hands of Euro 2020 winners, Italy.
Belgium possessed an abundance of wealth and you would expect them to win games easily despite being the number 1 team in the world but their wealth of abundance has nothing to do to get one over Italy who possessed the abundance of experience even though both teams rotated their squad for this game.
Both teams had half-decent chances in the early exchanges with Chiesa's shot blocked off for a corner and Batshuayi's shot flew over the bar just from outside the box. Berardi had a brilliant shot at the edge of the box but the goalkeeper was up to push it away. It was a lovely snapshot, hoping to catch the goalkeeper napping but he was up to it.
Raspadori had a decent chance to give Italy the lead in the 20th minute but his effort right inside the box after he was played through was blocked off for a corner. This was the only chance closer to scoring than any other in the match so far at that point.
Despite being a centre back, Toby Alderweireld proved to have wonderful eyes for goals but he was unable to beat the goalkeeper on every occasion. He had two lovely shots from the edge of the box saved on different occasions - something you would expect of a striker but he showed character and determination but it wasn't to be. He had his first decent chance in the 20th when he flipped a corner with his head goal-ward but the goalkeeper was up to deny him in the 23rd minute.
Belgium should have been ahead in the 27th minute after Batshuayi's brilliant effort to cut in and find Alexis Saelemaekers right in the box. His shot cannon off the crossbar instead rather than to find the back of the net.
In the 29th minute, Carrasco had a lovely ball flash across the face of the box for Batshuayi to connect with but he fluffed his lines as the pressure from the defence line make his miskick and miss the ball. Chiesa on the other end tried an audacious attempt in the 41st minute but his attempt flew wide.
In the 45th minute, he had another chance and this time around he was perfectly placed on the side, inside the box and you would bet on Chiesa to bury that chance but Courtois got his feet to it and the ball went wide.
Italy got off to a flying second half after a corner kick perfectly found Barella on the edge of the box and he hit a one time shot that found the back of the net with the goalkeeper unable to do anything about it. Italy got the goal and what a goal it was.
Belgium weren't having that much luck in this game as Batshuayi struck the crossbar also after he smash his shot from a tight angle. Their lack of luck continued as Castagne brought down Chiesa right inside the box and the referee had no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Berardi stepped up in the 65th minute and scored despite Courtois getting a hand to it but it wasn't enough to prevent it.
Toby Alderweireld had a half volley shot saved by the goalkeeper to further pile up the pressure on Belgium for not getting past Donnarumma in the 77th minute. In the 81st minute, Carrasco was found with a lovely pass and his curling effort struck the base of the bar which makes it thrice that Belgium struck the bar in this game but in the 86th minute they finally reduce the deficit after a quick counter orchestrated by Courtois from a long throw found De Bruyne and his pass was perfectly positioned for Charles De Ketelaere who took his time before squeezing the ball under the legs of Donnarumma to make it 2-1.
That was the closest to a comeback that Belgium got and they succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Italy who claimed the 3rd spot.
Thank you for your time.
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