Italy 2-1 Belgium: Nicolo Barella scores superb volley as European champions seal third in Nations League

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Nicolo Barella'€™s thunderous strike and a penalty converted by Domenico Berardi proved enough to earn Italy a 2-1 victory over Belgium on Sunday and third place in this year'€™s Nations League.

It offered some consolation for the European champions, whose semi-final loss to Spain in Milan on Wednesday ended their world record 37-match unbeaten run.

They returned to winning ways in Turin as Barella volleyed a poor corner clearance into the net one minute into the second half and Berardi added the second from the spot in the 65th minute, after Timothy Castagne had brought down the tricky Federico Chiesa.

Belgium claimed a consolation in the 86th minute when substitute Charles De Ketelaere finished off a quick counter-attack.

It was a second defeat of the finals for Roberto Martinez's side, who were without Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard after they withdrew from the squad with muscle fatigue, following their dramatic semi-final loss to France having led 2-0.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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