Italy beat Malta in Euro qualifiers

Malta's Cain Attard (front L) vies with Italy's Mateo Retegui during the 2024 UEFA European Championship qualifying match between Malta and Italy at the National Stadium, Attard, Malta, March 26, 2023. (Photo by Jonathan Borg/Xinhua)

 Italy bounced back from their defeat to England in Euro 2024 qualifying Group C with a 2-0 win over Malta on Sunday, with Mateo Retegui scoring again.

The Azzurri’s campaign didn’t start on the right foot as they lost 2-1 to England in their opening match on Thursday, representing their first defeat in European qualifiers since 2006.

Head coach Roberto Mancini made radical changes in the starting line-up, opting for a new midfield partnership of Matteo Pessina, Sandro Tonali and Bryan Cristante, while Argentina-born forward Retegui led the line flanked by Matteo Politano and Wilfried Gnonto.

The reigning European champions got the job done in the first half, as Retegui broke the deadlock in the 15th minute when Tonali’s corner allowed him to score his second goal in as many games, before Pessina sealed the win in the 27th minute.

In Group C’s earlier fixture, England made it two wins from two as they beat Ukraine 2-0. ■

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