REGGIO EMILIA, Italy (AP) — Understrength Italy took control of its Nations League group with a 2-0 win over Poland on Sunday despite missing coach Roberto Mancini and striker Ciro Immobile due to the coronavirus.
Jorginho converted a penalty for Italy midway through the first half after Andrea Belotti was dragged down inside the area. Domenico Berardi added another goal late in the second half after collecting a pass from Lorenzo Insigne.
Poland’s standout forward Roberto Lewandowski was fortunate to escape without so much as a warning when he elbowed Alessandro Bastoni near the middle of the field early on — with VAR not being used in the competition.
Still, Poland ended with 10 men after Jacek Góralski picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Belotti.
Italy leads Group 1 in League A with nine points. The Netherlands is next with eight points after beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1. Poland is still in contention with seven points, while Bosnia trails with two.
In Wednesday’s final round of group games, Italy visits Bosnia and Poland hosts the Netherlands.
The group winner will host the four-team finals in October.
After 41 players were called up to Italy’s squad last weekend, only 28 were available for this game due to coronavirus infections, clubs in isolation and injuries. Mancini, who is isolating at home after testing positive for COVID-19, relayed instructions to his team via telephone.
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