LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal, without captain Cristiano Ronaldo, made a positive start to the Nations League when Andre Silva gave them a 1-0 victory over new-look Italy on Monday.
Silva curled his shot past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma three minutes after halftime of the League A Group 3 game to send Portugal top with three points, ahead of Poland and Italy who have one each.
Italy coach Roberto Mancini, in only his second competitive match in charge, made nine changes to the team which started the 1-1 draw against Poland on Friday, with Mario Balotelli among those dropped.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos agreed to rest Ronaldo, who said he needed time to adapt to Italian football after moving from Real Madrid to Juventus in July.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)