Van de Beek off the mark as Netherlands, Italy share the spoils


Donny van de Beek scored his first Netherlands goal in a 1-1 draw with Italy that saw both teams lose ground to Poland in UEFA Nations League Group A1.

Lorenzo Pellegrini polished off a lovely move to put Italy in front in Bergamo on Thursday (AEDT), before Manchester United midfielder van de Beek opened his Oranje account on his 14th international appearance.

Neither side was able to find a winner in the second half, with Roberto Mancini's men extending their unbeaten run to 19 games – 16 in competitive matches – and denying Frank de Boer a first victory in charge of the Netherlands.

Poland now sit in pole position to advance to the Nations League Finals following a 3-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, piling the pressure on Italy and the Netherlands.

Nicolo Barella scored the only goal when these teams met in Amsterdam in September and he laid on the opener for Pellegrini with a beautiful curling pass around the back of the defence following an exchange on the right with Federico Chiesa.

The Netherlands' high line continued to make them look vulnerable but they drew level in the 25th minute when van de Beek slammed into the top-right corner after getting in the way of an effort from Memphis Depay.

Luuk de Jong steered a tame header wide from a glorious position as de Boer's team gained a foothold in the game, though they still needed a good save from Jasper Cillessen to keep out Danilo D'Ambrosio before half-time.

Gianluigi Donnarumma produced a stunning stop to deny Depay in the 55th minute and Ciro Immobile was unable to punish the visitors 94 seconds later when he failed to beat Cillessen in a one-on-one situation after an error from Hans Hateboer.

It proved to be the last solid opening of the game, with impressive last-ditch defending from both teams ensuring the spoils were shared at the end of a disappointing second period.

Source Omnisport