Italy beats Lithuania 2-0 to extend perfect qualifying run
Roberto Mancinis halftime changes made an immediate impact as Italy won 2-0 in Lithuania to take control of Group C with its third straight victory in World Cup qualifying.Substitute Stefano Sensi scored three minutes after the break and Italy had numerous chances to extend its advantage, but Lithuania goalkeeper Tomas vedkauskas kept his side in the game until Ciro Immobile converted a stoppage-time penalty.We had a lot of chances to score more goals, unfortunately we didnt manage to, Mancini said.PTI | Vilnius | Updated: 01-04-2021 09:37 IST | Created: 01-04-2021 09:37 IST
Substitute Stefano Sensi scored three minutes after the break and Italy had numerous chances to extend its advantage, but Lithuania goalkeeper Tomas Švedkauskas kept his side in the game until Ciro Immobile converted a stoppage-time penalty.
“We had a lot of chances to score more goals, unfortunately we didn't manage to,'' Mancini said. Italy moved three points ahead of idle Switzerland atop the group as the Azzurri remained on pace to reach the 2022 tournament in Qatar — having failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The Azzurri struggled to carve out chances in the first half although Švedkauskas had to make a flying save to keep Emerson Palmieri's effort from going into the top right corner shortly before the interval.
“I think certainly the coach urged the players on, gave them the right indications to start the second half strong,” Sensi said. “I don't know precisely what he said because I was out warming up, he had told me to get ready, that I would come on from the first minute of the second half.
Švedkauskas made a number of other saves while the Azzurri also sent several chances wide.
Lithuania almost scored a shock equalizer in the 66th minute but Fedor Cernych headed past the right post under pressure from Italy debutant Rafael Tolói.
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