New Italy boss Luciano Spalletti denied first win as North Macedonia fight back

New Italy boss Luciano Spalletti denied first win as North Macedonia fight back

Spalletti took over following the sudden resignation of Roberto Mancini last month and inherited a side which had already lost to England in their opening fixture.

Ciro Immobile broke the deadlock two minutes into the second half when he headed in a rebound after Nicolo Barella’s volley struck the crossbar.

Ciro Immobile celebrates after he scoring for Italy
New captain Ciro Immobile had put Italy in front (Boris Grdanoski/AP)

North Macedonia – who beat Italy in the 2022 World Cup play-offs – got back on level terms with nine minutes left through a fine free-kick from captain Enis Bardhi.

The draw left Italy third in the group, but having played only three matches so far because of their Nations League campaign.

Earlier, leaders England were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine in Wroclaw, Poland.

Not at our best tonight but still another point towards qualifying! Congratulations @kylewalker2 on your first England goal, about time! 🙌

— Harry Kane (@HKane) September 9, 2023

Arsenal midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko opened the scoring in the 26th minute, sparking wild celebrations from the estimated 40,000 Ukraine fans at the Tarczynski Arena.

England equalised just before the break when captain Harry Kane picked out Kyle Walker on the overlap down the right for the Manchester City defender to score a first international goal in his 77th appearance.

Belgium won 1-0 in Azerbaijan to move top of Group F.

Game changer. 🎲 #AZEBEL #WirSchaffenDas

— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) September 9, 2023

Yannick Carrasco deflected a long-range shot from Johan Bakayoko past the wrong-footed Azerbaijan goalkeeper in the 38th minute, which proved enough for all three points to put the Red Devils above Austria on goal difference.

Newcastle forward Alexander Isak was among the scorers as Sweden ran out 5-0 winners in Estonia to sit four points off the top two.

Switzerland missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of Group I after Kosovo fought back to draw 2-2 in Pristina

Vedat Muriqi celebrates after scoring for Kosovo
Vedat Muriqi struck deep into stoppage time to secure Kosovo a point in Pristina (Visar Kryeziu/AP)

Bologna midfielder Remo Freuler put the Swiss ahead in the 14th minute, before Vedat Muriqi equalised midway through the second half.

Freuler looked to have secured three points when his deflected effort went in off defender Amir Rrahmani with 11 minutes left, but Mallorca forward Muriqi struck again in added time.

Romania remain second, two points off Switzerland, after Israel came from behind to draw 1-1 in Bucharest, while it finished goalless between Andorra and Belarus.

Video North Macedonia vs Italy 1-1 | 2023 Euro Qualification | Match Highlights