Retegui scores again as Italy beats Malta 2-0 in qualifying
Argentina-born striker Mateo Retegui is fast becoming the center forward Italy has been sorely lacking.
Retegui scored again in Italy's 2-0 win over Malta on Sunday to make it two goals in as many matches as the defending champion recorded its first win in European Championship qualifying.
The 23-year-old Retegui had scored on his international debut on Thursday, in a 2-1 loss at home to England in a rematch of the Euro 2020 final, which Italy won on penalties.
Retegui became the first Italy player to score in his first two competitive international matches in nearly 55 years.
Italy was looking to kickstart its campaign after losing a European Championship qualifier for the first time since 2006.
Coach Roberto Mancini made eight chances from that loss to England.
Italy was without injured forward Ciro Immobile and its problems up front continued when Wilfried Gnonto went off with an ankle problem midway through the first half.
It was already 1-0 up by then, however, as Retegui had headed in Sandro Tonali's corner in the 15th minute.
The Azzurri doubled their tally in the 27th when Matteo Pessina tapped in a low cross from Emerson.
Gianluca Scamacca almost scored an acrobatic third in the 69th but his overhead kick was well saved by Malta goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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