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Injury-depleted Italy required two late goals to secure a 3-1 win over 10-man Armenia on Thursday and extend its perfect start to European Championship qualifying.Azzurri coach Roberto Mancini was enraged as his squad failed to produce any serious chances in the second half when it held a man advantage until substitute Lorenzo Pellegrini broke the deadlock in the 77th.Andrea Belotti then added another to go with his first-half equalizer.Armenia took the initiative early on with Aleksandre Karapetyan finishing off a counterattack that began with an Italian defensive lapse.Karapetyan was then sent off in first-half added time for picking up a second yellow card.“In a way Alex Morgan Jersey , the red card penalized us, because Armenia just focused on defending with 10 men and didn’t allow any spaces. If they had had 11, they would have pushed forward more,” Mancini said. “Armenia was physically superior today as they are midway through their seasons.”With five wins in five matches, Italy leads Group J with a full 15 points. Second-place Finland was hosting Greece later.Mancini had anticipated a difficult performance, pointing out that most of Italy’s players are short on physical fitness only two rounds into Serie A.Making matters more complicated was the absence of injured captain Giorgio Chiellini Mallory Pugh Jersey , plus key forward Lorenzo Insigne, Bryan Cristante, Cristiano Biraghi and Mattia De Sciglio.Midfielder Nicolò Barella turned the ball over to set Armenia on the counterattack that Karapetyan finished off with a shot to the far corner as Leonardo Bonucci failed to intervene.Belotti’s equalizer came with a volley near the far post following a cross from Emerson Palmieri.A minute later, Federico Bernardeschi hit the crossbar.Karapetyan’s first yellow came for an argument with Marco Verratti and his second was for a raised elbow on Bonucci, although replays showed that it was a harsh decision.Verratti was also booked, meaning he will miss Italy’s next match in Finland on Sunday due to accumulated cards.Pellegrini’s goal his first for the national team came with a header following a cross from Bonucci as he was left unmarked 10 yards out.Belotti’s second came with a difficult shot through a crowd of defenders that was aided by a poor effort from the goalkeeper.Belotti plays for Torino Julie Ertz Jersey , which started its season early for Europa League qualifying, meaning his physical condition was ahead of many Italy players.“It was a tough start for us, as Armenia was very aggressive and the pitch was not in great condition,” Belotti said. “Their chances were all on the counterattack, but we slowly took control and could have had more goals, including one I missed badly https://www.thetopsoccer.com/uswnt/mallory-pugh-jersey , but fortunately we were able to turn it around.”Armenia captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who recently joined Roma on loan in Italy’s Serie A, was a constant threat. New York City FC (9-3-8, fourth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Real Salt Lake (9-9-4, eighth in the Western Conference)Sandy, Utah; Saturday Becky Sauerbrunn Jersey , 10 p.m. EDTBOTTOM LINE: Real Salt Lake hosts New York City FC in non-conference action.Real Salt Lake is 7-2-1 in home games. Real Salt Lake is 3-1-0 when it scores two goals.New York City FC is 4-2-4 in road games. New York City FC is fourth in the Eastern Conference with 108 shots on goal, averaging 5.4 per game.The teams meet Saturday for the first time this season.TOP PERFORMERS: Sam Johnson has eight goals for Real Salt Lake. Jefferson Savarino has three goals and two assists over the last 10 games for Real Salt Lake.Maxi Moralez has six goals and eight assists for New York City FC. Heber has seven goals over the last 10 games for New York City FC.LAST 10 GAMES: Real Salt Lake: 4-3-3, averaging 1.2 goals, one assist, 4.5 shots on goal and 3.9 corner kicks per game while allowing one goal per game.New York City FC: 6-2-2, averaging 2.3 goals Crystal Dunn Jersey , 1.8 assists, 5.9 shots on goal and seven corner kicks per game while allowing 1.2 goals per game.NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY: Real Salt Lake: Sam Johnson (injured), Jordan Allen (injured).New York City FC: Joe Scally (injured), Ismael Tajouri (injured).
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