Soccer-Raspadori gives Italy 1-0 win to relegate stodgy England


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MILAN - England's sorry Nations League run continued as Giacomo Raspadori's 68th-minute strike gave Italy a deserved 1-0 win on Friday that relegated the shot-shy visitors to the second tier League B.

There was precious little to provide optimism for England’s fans with Qatar only two months away but at least they will be going, unlike Italy, still trying to come to terms with their failure to qualify for the second World Cup in a row either side of winning the European Championship.

In a game of few chances at the San Siro, the hosts looked the more adventurous side and were rewarded when Raspadori neatly brought down a long ball by Leonardo Bonucci on the edge of the box and, given far too much time, cut in before firing past Nick Pope.

England barely managed an effort on goal and looked unrecognisable from the team who went 22 games unbeaten until June – not counting the Euro 2020 final shootout defeat by Italy.

They have scored only one goal, a penalty, in their five Nations League games going into their final match at home to Germany on Monday.

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)

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