Rome (Italy), September 3: Italy matched Spain's record run of 35 matches unbeaten on Thursday, despite a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria on home turf in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Azzurri were on a run of 34 matches unbeaten, just one behind Spain's record set between 2007 and 2009. Roberto Mancini's side had won their opening three qualifiers, and this match was their first since their triumphant Euro 2020 campaign.
Mancini started Leonardo Bonucci and Francesco Acerbi at center-back, with UEFA Men's Player of the Year Jorginho pulling the strings, while Ciro Immobile led a three-forward line flanked by Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne.
The home side broke the deadlock in the 16th minute as Chiesa cut inside and skipped past several defenders to complete a one-two with Immobile, before unleashing a missile into the net.
Italy were utterly dominant, but could not extend their lead, while Bulgaria got back on level terms in the 40th minute when Atanas Iliev beat Gianluigi Donnarumma to score the equalizer, sealing the 1-1 draw.
Italy now face a trip to Basel to take on Switzerland on Sunday.
Source : Xinhua