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Mancini's winless run continues with Italy on emotional night as Genoa bridge victims remembered

Ukraine held the Azzuri to a 1-1 draw.

Italy's Federico Bernardeschi
Italy's Federico Bernardeschi

ITALY’S WINLESS RUN stretched to five games after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris this evening.

It was an emotional evening at Sampdoria’s home ground as the victims of August’s bridge collapse in Genoa were remembered.

The match was paused in the 43rd minute as a moment’s applause was held around the ground.

Roberto Mancini started his Azzurri tenure with a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in May but has failed to register another triumph since then – a run that has included away defeats to France and Portugal.

After failing to break the deadlock during a dominant first-half display, Italy went ahead in the 55th minute when Federico Bernardeschi’s long-range drive was inexplicably spilled into his own net by Andriy Pyatov.

Source: FFS TV/YouTube

Ukraine, who had scarcely offered anything in the way of attacking threat prior to falling behind, secured a draw thanks to a volley from Ruslan Malinovskiy, who also saw a late free-kick cannon back off the crossbar.

Pyatov’s outing started in more positive fashion and he twice denied Italy in the opening stages, pawing away Bernardeschi’s curling drive and then brilliantly repelling Leonardo Bonucci’s hooked volley from 12 yards.

Lorenzo Insigne clipped wide after being found inside the penalty area by Federico Chiesa midway through the first half before Pyatov tipped over Nicolo Barella’s whipped effort from 25 yards.

Italy were unable to make their superiority count before the interval as Pyatov once again denied them, this time pushing Chiesa’s low drive past his right-hand post.


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Italy Ukraine Soccer Source: AP/PA Images

However, Mancini’s side took the lead their dominance deserved 10 minutes after the interval when Pyatov made a mess of Bernardeschi’s attempt from distance.

Out of nothing, the visitors pulled level seven minutes later when Malinovskiy’s volley nestled in Gianluigi Donnarumma’s bottom-left corner.

Malinovskiy then thumped a stunning free-kick against the woodwork, while Donnarumma kept out Taras Stepanenko’s header to at least make sure Mancini avoided a first defeat on home soil.

- Updated 00.23

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