At Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Italy defeated Hungary 2-1 for their first win of the new Nations League season. Roberto Mancini’s team won the Group A3 match in Cesena on Tuesday thanks to goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Pellegrini in the first half.
After Gianluca Mancini pushed the ball into his own net after the break, Hungary drew one back, but Marco Rossi’s side were unable to capitalise on their remarkable triumph over England on Saturday.
In what was the first encounter between the nations since August 2007, the European champions, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, hung on for only their second victory in seven matches.
Mancini twice faced Matteo Politano corners but was denied by Denes Dibusz on both occasions as Italy made a solid start. At the other end, Gianluigi Donnarumma did an excellent job of blocking Roland Sallai’s strong stroke.
At the half-hour mark, Italy broke through, with Barella receiving the ball from Leonardo Spinazzola and blasting it into the top corner from 25 yards.
Right before the break, Politano’s square ball was stroked in by Pellegrini at the far post to double the hosts’ lead.
Just 10 minutes after the restart, Politano came within a whisker of netting a third goal, banging the crossbar from 20 yards after Donnarumma had saved Sallai’s effort.
In the 61st minute, Mancini gave Hungary hope by diverting Attila Fiola’s cross into his own net. Sallai and Willi Orban also forced Donnarumma into saves, but Italy would not be denied the three points.