England, Italy play out drab draw

The first meeting between the nations since the tumultuous Euro 2020 final was a tame affair with precious little to cheer for the 2,000 children, who were allowed to attend the match despite a UEFA ban.
England, Italy play out drab draw
The England Italy match had only a few sparkling moments

WOLVERHAMPTON: England’s winless start to its Nations League campaign continued as it was held to a 0-0 draw by a youthful Italy team at a near-empty Molineux Stadium here on Saturday.

The first meeting between the nations since the tumultuous Euro 2020 final was a tame affair with precious little to cheer for the 2,000 children, who were allowed to attend the match despite a UEFA ban. England’s Aaron Ramsdale was the busier of the two goalkeepers, making crucial saves in the first half to deny Sandro Tonali and Matteo Pessina.

With striker Harry Kane left on the bench until the 65th minute, England lacked attacking spark and the closest it came to scoring was Mason Mount’s first-half shot that went against the bar. Raheem Sterling wasted a glorious opportunity after the break, but England did not do enough to earn the win.

England has gone three matches without a win for the first time since Gareth Southgate took charge and was without an open-play goal in its last three games.

Fourth successive stalemate for Germany

Germany came from a goal down and survived late pressure to rescue a 1-1 draw against Hungary in Budapest on Saturday, its fourth consecutive stalemate.

Germany, undefeated under manager Hansi Flick, needed a ninth-minute equaliser through Jonas Hofmann to earn a point. The home team took a surprise lead in the sixth minute as Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer punched a Roland Sallai header away but Zsolt Nagy drilled the rebound past the shotstopper and into the roof of the goal.

Hofmann, who had scored in Germany’s 1-1 draw against England on Tuesday, levelled only three minutes later. He latched onto a deep, pin-point cross from Nico Schlotterbeck to round the goalkeeper and slot the ball in.

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