Roberto Mancini’s Italy sets a new world record as they shared spoils against Switzerland in a 2022 World Cup qualifier match, extending their unbeaten run of matches to 36. Earlier, the Euro 2020 champions broke the the previous 35-match record jointly held by Brazil (1993-96) and Spain (2007-09), when they drew 1-1 with Bulgaria. Follow for more never before Euro 2020 football matches highlights.
Italy’s last defeat came on September 10, 2018, in the group stage of the UEFA Nations League in 2018 against Portugal that was followed by a draw in a friendly against Ukraine 1-1. Since then, Italy have won 29 matches – of which two were on penalties – and drawn six. However, Italy’s unbeaten run is still some way short of the all-time football record as the US women went 51 unbeaten from 2004 to 2007.
In the past, the most that Italy had gone unbeaten was for 30 matches during 1935-1939 under the then coach Vittorio Pozzo. During that period, the Azzurri had won their second World Cup title (1938) and an Olympic gold medal in 1936. The reigning African Nations Cup winners, Algeria are also on an unbeaten run, currently on a 29-match unbeaten streak.
During the match against Switzerland, Italy should have taken all three points. However, Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer made an impressive save against UEFA Player of the Year Jorginho’s second-half penalty. “The ball didn’t want to go into the goal,” coach Roberto Mancini said in an interview. “We had too many chances today not to win the match… We have to be more clinical and more precise.”
Despite the draw, the Azzurri remain top of Group C, four points above Switzerland who have two games in hand. The group winners will automatically reach next year’s finals in Qatar, with the runners-up heading into a 12-team, two-round playoffs bracket in March. Italy will next clash against Lithuania on September 9. In October, Italy will host the Nations League Finals four-team mini-tournament.
Last summer, Italy won the virus-hit European Championship for the first time since 1968 as goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two penalties to end England’s dream of their first-ever Euro. The regular time ended in 1-1 after extra time at Wembley Stadium then went into a penalty shootout, with England missing three penalties to make it 3-2. It was the first shootout in a Euro final since 1976.
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