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Italy edge Belgium 2-1 to finish third in Nations League

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TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – Nicolo Barella’s thunderous strike and a penalty converted by Domenico Berardi proved enough to earn hosts Italy a 2-1 victory over Belgium on Sunday and third place in this year’s Nations League.

It offered some consolation for the European champions, whose semi-final loss to Spain in Milan on Wednesday ended their world record 37-match unbeaten run.

They returned to winning ways as Barella volleyed a poor corner clearance into the net one minute into the second half and Berardi added the second from the spot in the 65th minute, after Timothy Castagne had brought down the tricky Federico Chiesa.

Belgium claimed a consolation in the 86th minute when substitute Charles De Ketelaere finished off a quick counter- attack.

France and Spain meet in the Nations League final in Milan later on Sunday (kickoff 1845 GMT).

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ed Osmond)

Reuters

Photo Nicolo Barella (C) of Italy celebrates with teammates after scoring the 1-0 lead during the UEFA Nations League third place soccer match between Italy and Belgium in Turin, Italy, 10 October 2021. EPA-EFE/Alessandro di Marco

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