London, September 27
Part one of the healing process is complete for Italy. Looking to regain respect after failing to qualify for a second straight World Cup, the Azzurri advanced to next year’s final tournament in the Nations League by winning 2-0 at Hungary, thanks to goals by Giacomo Raspadori and Federico Dimarco on Monday.
By topping a group also containing England and Germany, the Italians joined the Netherlands and Croatia in qualifying for the final four, which will be hosted by the Dutch in June. Portugal or Spain will complete the line-up.
Unlike Italy, England and Germany will be going to the World Cup in Qatar in less than two months and they’ll head to the Middle East on the back of a wild 3-3 draw at Wembley Stadium, where all the goals were scored in the second half.
Trailing 2-0, England scored three goals in a 12-minute span from the 71st — through Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane’s penalty — only for Kai Havertz to pounce on a fumble by England goalkeeper Nick Pope to equalise in the 87th.
England’s winless run stretched to six games, with Gareth Southgate’s team finishing its Nations League campaign without a victory and relegated.
Germany aren’t in much better shape ahead of the World Cup, with just one win in their last seven games.
Italy won Group A3 with 11 points, one more than Hungary, who went into the game in Budapest needing only a draw to reach the Nations League final four for the first time. — AP
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