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Italy Beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 Late On in 2020 Euro Qualifier

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 11, 2019

Italy's midfielder Marco Verratti (R) celebrates with Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini after scoring a goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification football match between Italy and Bosnia Herzegovina at the 'Allianz Stadium' in Turin on June 11, 2019. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Marco Verratti came to Italy's rescue with an 86th-minute winner on Tuesday as they beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 to retain a three-point lead at the top of Group J in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.

Edin Dzeko fired in a surprise opener for the visitors after 33 minutes at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, but Lorenzo Insigne responded with a thunderous equaliser three minutes into the second half.

Verratti completed the comeback with only a few minutes left to keep Italy perfect in the group and maintain their resurgence on the international stage.

Finland beat Liechtenstein 2-0 in their Group J matchup to keep up the pace at the table summit and stay within three points of Italy.      

Bosnia applied much of the early pressure in terms of attempts on goal and were hoping to avoid another scoreless result after losing 2-0 in Finland on Saturday.

Italy have a long-standing reputation for keeping things tight defensively, but AS Roma striker Dzeko is used to devastating Italian audiences from his time in Serie A.

He found his route past Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu in the 32nd minute following some fine work down the right from namesake Edin Visca and side-footed in from short range.

OptaPaolo illustrated how rare a feat it was for the visiting side:

OptaPaolo @OptaPaolo

600 - Edin Dzeko has scored against Italy after 600 minutes without goals conceded for the Azzurri. Brutus. #ItaliaBosnia

Sirigu was put under pressure early on in the second half and produced several good saves, but it was Italy who got the first goal after the restart to level through a sensational Insigne volley.

An Italy corner was deflected high into the air, and the Turin crowd were re-energised after Insigne shaped up and drilled his volley into the left side of Bosnia's net.

Benchwarmers reacted as many might to such a wonderfully technical hit:

BenchWarmers @BeWarmers

Watching Insigne's goal like #ItalyBosnia https://t.co/0C1birpUcL

Italy had a much greater effect on Bosnia's goal in the second half and accounted for more than two thirds of possession, per Flashscores.com, but the chances weren't falling as required in front of goal.

Azzurri manager Roberto Mancini had been unbeaten at home as Italy manager coming into Tuesday's clash, a record he would have been keen to preserve.

Luckily for him, star men Insigne and Verratti came up with a composed, simple passage of play in the 86th minute to decide the fixture and keep Italy on course for first in Group J.

Napoli's speedster cut to the left side before pulling back to Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Verratti. Broadcaster Matteo Bonetti couldn't believe the space he was allowed in such territory:

Matteo Bonetti @TheCalcioGuy

Verratti inexplicably left completely alone inside the box. Insigne finds him for a calm, side footed finish into bottom corner. 🇮🇹 2-1 🇧🇦

The clinical touches of two team leaders narrowly avoided an embarrassment in Turin, though Italy's defence suffered a wake-up call in the process.

Bosnia will rue this as a chance spurned after they led going in at the break, and their prospects of Euro 2020 qualification are slowly drifting away.

     

What's Next?

Italy and Bosnia will resume their Euro 2020 qualifying campaigns in September when they'll face Armenia and Lichtenstein, respectively.

      

This article will be updated to provide more information soon.

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