International Roundup: Sebastian Giovinco dazzles as Italy secure Euro 2016 berth

A slew of MLS players saw action in international matches across the world on Tuesday, though it was a forgettable night for the league’s sizeable Jamaican contingent.

The Reggae Boyz struggled in a friendly loss at South Korea, conceding in the 35th, 55th and 63rd minutes to fall 3-0 in Seoul. Four MLS players saw action for Jamaica, with Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake and Houston Dynamo attacker Giles Barnes both going the full 90, and Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks playing 85 minutes before being removed for Portland Timbers midfielder Michael Seaton.

Things went far, far better for Sebastian Giovinco and Italy, with the Toronto FC star helping the Azzurri in their comeback 2-1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying win against Norway in Rome. The win clinched the Group H title for Italy and booked third place for the Norwegians, who will now have to win a playoff in order to book a place in France next summer.

Giovinco keyed Italy’s second half comeback after Norway took a surprise lead in the 23rd minute. The Atomic Ant entered in the 62nd and setup the equalizer 11 minutes later, clipping in a cross from the left side that Norway couldn’t clear, allowing Alessandro Florenzi to tap home from close range. Florenzi assisted on the winner in the 82nd, finding Graziano Pelle in the left side of the area for a far post finish.

Things weren’t as positive for Real Salt Lake defender Abdoulie Mansally, San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Sanna Nyassi and Gambia, who lost 2-1 at Namibia to get eliminated from the first round of African World Cup qualifying. Gambia, who drew 1-1 in the first leg at home on Saturday, took the early lead on Tuesday, but gave up a pair of goals to drop the series 3-2 on aggregate. Both Mansally and Nyassi started for Gambia, with Mansally subbed off in first-half stoppage time and Nyassi leaving the match in the 70th minute. 

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