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Germany's Joshua Kimmich (left) duels for the ball with Italy's Gianluca Scamacca during the UEFA Nations League matchat Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy. Image Credit: AP

Bologna: Joshua Kimmich’s well-taken equaliser earned Germany a 1-1 draw with Italy in their Nations League opener on Saturday, ensuring his side remain unbeaten under coach Hansi Flick.

Looking to get over their disappointment at failing to qualify for the World Cup for the second successive tournament, Italy named an experimental side for their League A, Group Three match in Bologna, and gave Flick’s team a real test.

AS Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini edged the hosts in front 20 minutes from fulltime as Italy looked primed to secure only their second win in their last six games, but Kimmich pounced three minutes later to earn his side a point.

The draw means Germany have won eight and drawn two of their games since Flick took over from Joachim Loew after last summer’s European Championships, with England up next in the Nations League on Tuesday, with Italy taking on Hungary.

'Not an easy game'

“It is a pity we conceded the equaliser straight after, we were naive, because it was not an easy game, especially at the start,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini told RAI Sport.

“It was the first time these players played together, they did a great job, they suffered when they had to, attacked when they had to. The lads did really well, they played on a par with what is a great national team at this moment.”

Mancini mixed things up after the Azzurri’s 3-0 defeat to Argentina in the ‘Finalissima’ on Wednesday, with only goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma keeping his place in the starting team.