Frank de Boer is still waiting for his first goal since taking charge of the Netherlands after his side laboured to a 0-0 Nations League draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Having started his reign with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Mexico in Amsterdam, De Boer - appointed after Ronald Koeman's departure to take charge at Barcelona – saw the Netherlands dominate possession and territory in Zenica. 

However, they lacked a cutting edge as Bosnia-Herzegovina - knocked out of the Euro 2020 play-offs on penalties by Northern Ireland on Thursday – stood firm to earn a point from the Group A1 clash. 

Luuk de Jong – selected in place of the suspended Memphis Depay – came close to a breakthrough, his downward header forcing a superb save from goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic, while Ryan Babel spurned a glorious opportunity in added time.

A draw was hardly a surprise, though. Neither team had managed an attempt on target in a first half that saw plenty of intent but a distinct lack of quality, with the action barely improving after the interval. 

Stefan de Vrij wastefully headed wide from an early free-kick, though the defender make an important impact in his own penalty area later on, producing a well-timed challenge to block Amer Gojak's attempt. 

The Netherlands pinned their opponents in deep for long periods, yet Bosnia-Herzegovina looked the more likely to make a breakthrough as the minutes ticked by.

Edin Dzeko's introduction from the bench made a difference, his run and square pass allowing Miralem Pjanic to take aim with a firm drive that finally forced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen into a save in the 69th minute.

At the other end, Sehic reacted smartly to prevent Frenkie de Jong's effort, then showed great agility to keep out namesake Luuk from the resulting corner.

The home keeper should have been beaten in the closing stages, though, when a loose ball fell kindly to Babel in the area, only for the substitute to rather sum up the performance by wastefully shooting wide.

Frank De Boer insisted he always wants to win after suffering a 1-0 loss to Mexico in his first match in charge of the Netherlands, but defiantly reminded his critics that he rested key players ahead of his side's forthcoming Nations League fixtures.

Raul Jimenez scored a second-half penalty to settle the friendly at Johan Cruijff Arena on Wednesday, which saw De Boer go head-to-head with Mexico boss Gerardo Martino – who he succeeded as head coach of MLS outfit Atlanta United.

De Boer left Atlanta in July following a poor run of form and his appointment as Ronald Koeman's successor as coach of the Netherlands raised concerns among supporters unimpressed by his record at club level in recent years.

Inter sacked De Boer after he had been in charge for just 85 days in 2016, and the former Netherlands defender lasted just seven games as Crystal Palace boss in the Premier League the following year.

In his international coaching bow, he handed debuts to Owen Wijndal and Teun Koopmeiners, while resting the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Daley Blind ahead of Sunday's clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina and a trip to Italy three days later.

"Of course I have a bad feeling," De Boer told reporters after the game. "I always want to win.

"But we have made certain choices, which I think are logical. We did not let some guys play. We have two more matches soon.

"Moreover, I do not believe that I am the first national coach to lose on his debut."

"The result is unpleasant," added De Boer. "But it was a practice match.

"You could give the excuse that not all the best guys played. We know that someone like Frenkie de Jong is very important, and he was missing. But let's not forget that Teun Koopmeiners played a very good game in the middle."

De Boer, who played for his country as a defender more than 100 times, offered words of support to 20-year-old Wijndal, who made a glaring error in the first half that almost cost the Netherlands.

"He started a bit rough, that's possible," said De Boer. "But I thought it was very good how he fought back."

Opposite number Martino reflected on Mexico's 18th victory in their last 19 matches, claiming the midweek win one was well deserved.

"We played a good game," he said. "We had enough control of the game and we worked very well together.

"It seems to me that the result is fair. At times we pressed well and had the ball. If you work well, you impose your game.

"Today we were a very solid and generous team."

Frank de Boer has named his first squad as Netherlands head coach following his appointment last month, with Daley Blind among those recalled.

Former Ajax, Inter and Atlanta United coach De Boer was named Ronald Koeman's replacement after his departure for Barcelona, taking the reins from interim boss Dwight Lodeweges.

The Oranje play Mexico in a friendly on October 7 and then have Nations League meetings against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Italy.

De Boer claimed at his presentation as coach tthat his group is more talented than Netherlands' 2010 World Cup finalists - when he was on the staff - and he has opted against widescale changes.

Blind is back, though, after being left out in September following a health scare.

The centre-back, who was last year fitted with a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator after being diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation, collapsed in an Ajax friendly in pre-season.

Blind subsequently declared he was "feeling fine", however, and has gone on to start each of Ajax's opening three Eredivisie wins.

Steven Berghuis and Donyell Malen have also returned to the fold, while there is a first senior call-up for AZ captain Teun Koopmeiners.

The Leeds United-linked midfielder made the preliminary squad under Lodeweges but has only now made the final selection.

Perr Schuurs was a new name last month but is not in the latest squad, nor is Leroy Fer.


Netherlands squad in full:

Jasper Cillessen (Valencia), Marco Bizot (AZ), Tim Krul (Norwich City); Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Daley Blind (Ajax), Joel Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion), Stefan de Vrij (Inter), Owen Wijndal (AZ); Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Mohamed Ihattaren (PSV), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kevin Strootman (Marseille), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool); Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Quincy Promes (Ajax), Ryan Babel (Galatasaray), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Donyell Malen (PSV).

Roberto Mancini promised changes in personnel for Italy's clash with the Netherlands after watching his side slump to a 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Nations League.

Mancini's men had won their previous 11 consecutive games – an Azzurri record – but fell behind at Stadio Artemio Franchi when Roma striker Edin Dzeko gave the visitors a second-half lead.

Inter midfielder Stefano Sensi equalised with a deflected strike to earn Italy a share of the points in a game that saw them struggle to break down a packed Bosnia-Herzegovina defence.

Torino's Andrea Belotti started in attack ahead of Lazio's talismanic forward Ciro Immobile and Mancini may consider that position for one of his planned changes.

"The draw doesn't change our plans," Mancini told Rai Sport.

"Our game plan won't change against the Netherlands, but we'll change personnel.

"[Giorgio] Chiellini didn't play because we feared risking injury.

"It's a shame not to have won. Tiredness played a role but the boys played well."

Sensi, whose only previous goal for his country came in a 6-0 drubbing of Liechtenstein in March 2019, admitted the result fell short of Italy's expectations.

The Azzurri won just one of their four Nations League games in 2018 and will need to improve against the Netherlands on Monday if they are to pick up their first victory of this year's competition.

"I'm happy to score, but there's a lot of regret about the result," said Sensi.

"Coming back together after 10 months wasn't easy.

"It was hard to find the spaces. We should've been a lot quicker on the ball."

Stefano Sensi's second international goal rescued Italy a Nations League draw as their 11-game winning streak came to an end in a 1-1 stalemate with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Azzurri arrived in Florence looking to extend their record-breaking run of consecutive victories to 12 but found themselves up against a resolute defence and undone by the visitors' veteran Serie A striker Edin Dzeko, who scored from close range after 57 minutes.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini opted to leave last season's European Golden Boot winner Ciro Immobile out of his starting line-up and watched as his forwards squandered the few chances that came their way.

But Sensi applied a cool finish to Lorenzo Insigne's cross after the talented attacker teed him up in the 67th minute to avoid a shock defeat.

Federico Chiesa hit the side-netting from six yards as Italy probed for an opener and Insigne whipped a 20-yard free-kick just over the crossbar after 17 minutes.

Bosnia-Herzegovina wingers Armin Hodzic and Edin Visca made their presence felt, linking up in a fast break before the latter lashed a fierce shot high and wide from 12 yards shortly before the half-hour mark.

The Azzurri survived a scare when Hodzic rounded Gianluigi Donnarumma seven minutes into the second half before hitting the outside of the post from an extremely tight angle.

After Insigne had a close-range header saved by Ibrahim Sehic, Dzeko broke the deadlock with a simple left-footed finish into the bottom right corner of the net after Toni Sunjic's knockdown found him six yards out.

Ten minutes later, Insigne's cross found Sensi unmarked just inside the penalty area and he side-footed a low shot that took a deflection on its way past Sehic into the bottom corner of the net.

Florenzi should have won it when he burst into the box with 19 minutes left but his low drive from 12 yards was well saved by the diving Sehic.

Scotland have been drawn against Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals.

Aiming to reach their first major finals in 22 years, Steve Clarke's side will face Israel in a one-legged tie at Hampden Park on March 26.

The winner of that match will go on to face either Norway or Serbia in the Path C final five days later.

Scotland beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park last November en route to topping their Nations League group and Clarke is after a repeat result in four months' time.

"The draw is what it is," he told Sky Sports News. "I never get too carried away about who you are going to play. 

"It would been nice to repeat the home win, but the match will come with its own level of pressure, which we will have to embrace.

"Being at home is very important for us. I'm sure Hampden will be full, with the Tartan Army on the march. It's a great stadium when it's full, so if we start fast we can get them all behind us."

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are on course to meet in the Path B final, having been drawn away to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovakia respectively in the semis.

In Path A, Romania travel to Iceland and Bulgaria host Hungary, while Belarus are at Georgia and North Macedonia face Kosovo in Path D.

The four play-off winners will join the 20 teams that have already qualified for the finals, which will take place in 12 different cities next year.

Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic suffered a thigh injury against Italy on Friday, Bosnia-Herzegovina have confirmed.

Pjanic has been in impressive form for Juve in Serie A this season but pulled up in a 1-1 draw against Lecce in October, returning in the Turin derby at the start of this month.

He looks to have suffered another setback after being substituted with 13 minutes remaining of a 3-0 home Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Italy.

Bosnia confirmed on Saturday the 29-year-old would miss their trip to Liechtenstein on Monday, leaving Juve with a fitness concern ahead of a tough test against Atalanta next weekend.

"National team players Miralem Pjanic and Luka Menalo will miss the team's next match against Liechtenstein due to injuries," Bosnia's statement read.

"Pjanic has an adductor injury, while Menalo has an ankle injury."

Roberto Mancini revelled in watching his Italy side break new ground in Friday's 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win at Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Francesco Acerbi, Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Belotti were on target as the already qualified Azzurri maintained a 100 per cent record in Group J after nine matches.

The result marked a 10th consecutive victory for Italy, a feat no other Azzurri side has ever managed.

It broke the previous best achieved by Vittorio Pozzo's side between 1938 and 1939, a fact that brought plenty of joy to head coach Mancini.

"It's pleasing. We've beaten a mythical feat, and this can only be a pleasure," Mancini told Rai Sport.

"Tonight I saw a great Italy performance. We knew it wouldn't be an easy game, even though they had nothing to play for, but we immediately got on the right track."

Mancini has rotated with his central striker through qualifying, with Belotti earning the nod ahead of Ciro Immobile this time and backing up his double against Liechtenstein last time out.

"If they score it's better for us and we hope they continue in this way in matches during the Euros," Mancini said of his striker options.

Mancini identified a fault, though, saying: "We played too far back. When you are tired you have to stand taller because if you are convinced you've won the game you risk opening it up again."

Roberto Mancini and his Italy side broke new ground in their comfortable 3-0 win at Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday.

The victory in the Euro 2020 qualifier not only ensured they maintained a 100 per cent record in Group J but also saw the Azzurri rack up a 10th consecutive triumph.

No Italy side has ever achieved such a feat and they will look to stretch the streak in their final qualifier against Armenia on Monday.

Below, we take a look back at Italy's record-breaking run.


Italy 1-0 United States: Nov 20, 2018

The run started with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over USA in Genk a little under a year ago. Italy dominated proceedings but needed Matteo Politano's 94th-minute strike to secure the win.


Italy 2-0 Finland: Mar 23, 2019

Euro 2020 qualifying started in convincing fashion for Mancini's men in Udine. Nicolo Barella's deflected effort and a first Azzurri goal for Moise Kean did the damage.


Italy 6-0 Liechtenstein: Mar 26, 2019

Fabio Quagliarella became Italy's oldest international scorer at the age of 36 as Liechtenstein were hammered in Parma. The veteran scored two penalties in the rout - the latter after Daniel Kaufmann was sent off on the stroke of half-time - while Stefano Sensi, Marco Verratti, Kean and Leonardo Pavoletti were also on target. 


Greece 0-3 Italy: Jun 8, 2019

A flying start to qualifying continued in Athens in a match that was essentially over thanks to a three-goal 10-minute salvo in the first half. Barella's thumping opener was added to by Lorenzo Insigne's sumptuous strike, before Leonardo Bonucci headed in the third. 


Italy 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina: Jun 11, 2019

In one of the trickiest encounters during Italy's run, the hosts fell behind to Roma striker Edin Dzeko's close-range effort after 32 minutes. Insigne levelled shortly after the break, but it took until the 86th minute for Verratti to curl home the winner.


Armenia 1-3 Italy: Sep 5, 2019

Italy again had to come from behind after Aleksandre Karapetian put Armenia in a surprise lead, but he was sent off after Andrea Belotti's leveller. Still, it was not until the 77th minute that Lorenzo Pellegrini headed the visitors ahead, and an unfortunate own goal from goalkeeper Aram Ayrapetyan rounded out the win.


Finland 1-2 Italy: Sep 8, 2019

A hectic final 30 minutes saw Teemu Pukki cancel out Ciro Immobile's header to draw Finland level from the penalty spot. However, a spot-kick of their own from Jorginho after a handball from Sauli Vaisanen maintained Italy's 100 per cent record in qualifying.


Italy 2-0 Greece: Oct 12, 2019

A month later, another Jorginho penalty set Italy on their way against Greece in Rome and Federico Bernardeschi added a second as the Azzurri booked their place at Euro 2020.


Liechtenstein 0-5 Italy: Oct 15, 2019

It was another luckless night for Liechtenstein, who were turned over in Vaduz. Belotti scored twice, while Bernardeschi, Alessio Romagnoli and Stephan El Shaarawy put their names on the scoresheet.


Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-3 Italy: Nov 15, 2019

The record-breaking day arrived in Zenica as Italy controlled proceedings. Francesco Acerbi's first goal for his country and Insigne's strike after 37 minutes had the visitors coasting at the break. Belotti struck a fine third to ensure a new landmark was set.

Italy earned a record 10th consecutive victory with a convincing 3-0 win at Bosnia-Herzegovina in Friday's Euro 2020 qualifier.

The Azzurri were already assured of top spot in Group J and were in control at the break in Zenica thanks to Francesco Acerbi's first Italy goal and Lorenzo Insigne's effort.

Andrea Belotti's fine strike early in the second half ensured Italy retained their 100 per cent record, while Bosnia-Herzegovina already knew they were destined for the play-offs.

It means Roberto Mancini breaks new ground as the first Italy coach to oversee 10 straight wins, while it also marks the first time they have won six away games in a row.

Gianluigi Donnarumma was sharp to keep out Ermin Bicakcic's close-range header and defender Zoran Kvrzic made a great block to deny Insigne before Italy went in front.

The visitors worked the ball into the box and Nicolo Barella teed up Acerbi, who showed quick feet before rifling into the bottom-right corner.

Things got better when Belotti wormed his way into the area to pick out Insigne and his effort found the bottom-left corner despite not making clean contact.

Donnarumma made fine saves from Gojko Cimirot and Adnan Kovacevic to protect the two-goal lead and Belotti put the match to bed after 52 minutes.

The Torino forward raced onto Barella's throughball and his sweetly hit 20-yard effort curved past Ibrahim Sehic.

Kovacevic was perhaps fortunate to escape with just a yellow card for a challenge that caught Belotti high and Mancini made the rare decision to sub a keeper when Pierluigi Gollini made his Italy bow late on, as the closing stages passed largely without incident.

 

What does it mean? Mancini has history-making Italy in great shape

After the ignominy of missing out on the 2018 World Cup under previous boss Gian Piero Ventura, Mancini has quietly gone about rebuilding Italy's shattered confidence. In Federico Bernardeschi and Insigne they have creativity in forward positions, while Jorginho, Sandro Tonali and Barella are a work in progress in midfield. Tougher tests lay in wait but a winning mentality has returned to the Azzurri.

Barella the fella making Italy tick

There were a lot of things to like for Italy, but Barella was particularly impressive pulling the strings in the heart of midfield. The Inter star finished the evening with four key passes and two assists.

Dzeko has his Ed-in his hands

Having spent the past four years in Serie A, Edin Dzeko is no stranger to Italy, but he unusually snatched at his chances and was unable to hurt the visitors.

What's next?

Italy will look to make it 10 wins from 10 in Group J when they host Armenia in their final qualifier on Monday, while Bosnia-Herzegovina's last group game is at Liechtenstein on the same day.

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