Spain’s Joselu pounced with two minutes remaining to snatch a 2-1 win over Italy on Thursday and set up a Nations League final clash against Croatia.
Luis de la Fuente’s side shaded a tight battle in Enschede to progress to Sunday’s final, where Zlatko Dalic’s outfit are lying in wait after beating hosts the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Yeremy Pino sent La Roja ahead after three minutes but Ciro Immobile netted from the penalty spot to level and the game seemed destined for extra time before Joselu prodded home from point-blank range to win it.
The victory eases pressure on De la Fuente, who had been heavily criticized after March’s loss to Scotland, in what was only his second game in charge.
Joselu, who has three goals in three games under the new coach, who handed him his debut, managed to stay onside and convert after Rodri Hernandez’s effort was deflected into his path.
The poacher, 33, was relegated with Espanyol this season but netted 16 times in La Liga.
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The Manchester City defender and his team-mate Rodri were playing after tasting Champions League success last Saturday, with the latter scoring the winning goal against Inter Milan in the final.
Mancini lined up with three at the back, giving veteran center-back Leonardo Bonucci a start despite his patchy season with Juventus.
Italy immediately paid the price, with captain Bonucci robbed on the edge of his own box under pressure from Gavi and Yeremy Pino, with the latter driving into the box and firing past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
However, the Azzurri quickly pulled themselves level, when Le Normand handled Nicolo Zaniolo’s effort.