2018 International Friendly, International Friendly
  • Matteo Politano (90'+4')

Italy scores late goal to beat United States in last international of 2018

Matteo Politano scored in second-half stoppage time to hand Italy a deserved 1-0 win against the United States in a friendly in Genk, Belgium, on Tuesday night.

Christian Pulisic was the only holdover in the starting lineup from last Thursday's 3-0 loss to England, with the Borussia Dortmund winger taking the armband for the first time and replacing Landon Donovan as the youngest captain in national team history.

Italy was the better side in the first half, but failed to convert their dominance in possession into any quality chances as the teams went to the dressing rooms locked in a goalless draw at half-time.

The U.S. found itself on the back foot in the second half as well, with Kevin Lasagna forcing a save from Ethan Horvath on the hour mark after Leonardo Bonucci played him into the Americans' penalty area with a lovely ball over the defense.

Walker Zimmerman had the best chance of the opening hour-plus for the U.S., powering a back-post header from a set piece at the Italy goal that Salvatore Sirigu palmed over the crossbar.

Horvath was twice called into action near the 70-minute mark, diving to his left to get a hand on Vincenzo Grifo's powerful shot from 20 yards and once again denying Lasagna from close range

Italy continued to push forward looking for a match-winning goal and it finally came when Politano zig-zagged through the U.S. defense to finish a nice team move for Italy and cap the Azzurri's 2018 international schedule with a win.