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Nations League: Italy beat Hungary to make it to the semi-finals; England come back to beat Germany

Italy advanced to Nations League Final Four with an impressive win in the final against Hungary while England was able to draw an exciting 3-3 draw against Germany.

The first phase of healing has been completed for Italy.

Regaining respect after not being able to qualify for a second consecutive World Cup, the Azzurri progressed to next year’s finals event at the Nations League by winning at Hungary by 2-0, with goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Federico Dimarco on Monday.

With their victory, they topped a group comprising England and Germany In the group, the Italians have joined the Netherlands as well as Croatia to qualify for the last four that will host by the Dutch in June.

Portugal and Spain will be the final two teams as they meet on Tuesday.

Contrary to Italy, England and Germany will both be attending this World Cup in Qatar in less than two months. they’ll be heading towards the Middle East on the back of a thrilling 3-3-2 draw in Wembley Stadium, where all goals were scored in the second period.

In the midst of a 2-0 deficit, England scored three goals within a 12-minute span starting beginning in the 71st minute via Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, and Harry Kane’s penalty but just to allow Kai Havertz to pounce on an error made committed by England goalkeeper Nick Pope to equalize in the 87th.

England’s streak of no wins grew to six games. Gareth Southgate’s squad ended its Nations League campaign without a win and was relegated.

Germany isn’t in any better condition prior to this year’s World Cup, with just one victory during their seven previous matches.

Italy was the winner of Group A3 with 11 points which was one more than Hungary which entered the match in Budapest with only one draw to make it into the Nations League final four for the first time.

ITALY RECOVERS

The Italians have found it easier to be eligible for Nations League finals than World Cups.

They also reached the 2021 championship, only to lose against Spain in the semi-finals on their home turf in the first few months of being the reigning European champions.

A lot has changed in the squad since they beat England at the European Championship final at Wembley last year, not to mention in the front, in the middle, where Raspadori is making an impact.

A few days following scoring the winning goal at the hands of England in Milan the Napoli striker placed Italy ahead when Adam Nagy’s back pass came just short.

Wilfried Gnonto challenged Goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi for the ball that bounced off and Raspadori was quick to go around Gulacsi, and then convert his goal at the end of the 27th.

Gianluigi Donnarumma produced a string of diving stops, including a triple stop within a matter of seconds. Nicolo Barella threw an inbound ball at the other side for Bryan Cristante, who crossed to Dimarco who scored from close range to make it his first goal in Italy.

The pressure on Hungary did not result in an end goal.

“We performed well for 70 minutes. The last 20 I did not like the way we played,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini stated. “We’re content and it’s important to be in the Nations League final four for the second time.”

MAGUIRE Under Scrutiny

Being under pressure for his first spot in England’s squad, Harry Maguire didn’t help his cause in the match against Germany.

It was the Manchester United center-back who was responsible for Germany’s 52nd-minute opening goal on the spot, scored by Ilkay Gundogan. Maguire initially let the ball go for Jamal Musiala, then clumsily hit the youngster in the area later on -after which he was taken away in midfield and allowed Germany to break. Germans to break the deadlock, which culminated with a curling finish off the edge of the field by Havertz.

Maguire has been sacked from his place in the starting line-up at United however Southgate has not lost faith in Maguire as a defender who generally is more effective at home for the country rather than at his current club. It was a difficult evening all-round the center-backs of England including John Stones forced off with an apparent hamstring injury.

England did well to come back and Kane’s penalty took the striker to 51 goals in England and two goals shy of Wayne Rooney’s record in the national league However, another error resulted in a costly error.

Pope who was filling in for hurt Jordan Pickford, spilled Serge Gnabry’s weak shot. Havertz was present to make a shot from a close distance.

“A couple of mistakes caused us to lose the scores,” Southgate said, “but I’ll be focusing on the fact that they showed tremendous determination and displayed a determination that we’ve not demonstrated in the past few games.”

It was observed as a time of silence before kickoff in an ode for Queen Elizabeth II of England, who passed away in the month of April. The players of both teams were wearing black armbands.

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