Roberto Mancini feels Italy are ahead of schedule despite needing a 94th-minute winner from Matteo Politano to edge past the United States.
Italy struggled in Tuesday's international friendly in Genk until late substitute Politano collected a pass from Inter team-mate Roberto Gagliardini to score deep into added time.
The Azzurri have kept three clean sheets in a row under Mancini but only scored twice in that run, although they have handed opportunities to a batch of young players.
Stefano Sensi started in midfield and impressed Mancini on his international bow, while there were further debuts from the bench for Vincenzo Grifo and Juventus teenager Moise Kean.
And although Italy finished second behind Portugal in their Nations League group, Mancini believes his team are on the right track.
"Sensi did really well, so did Kean and Grifo," Mancini told Rai Sport. "[Francesco] Acerbi and [Mattia] De Sciglio impressed me, too.
"We are in line with where we expected to be at this stage, perhaps doing even better, as the team is playing very well.
"The Euro 2020 qualifiers are coming up next year, so we have had a few too many draws and defeats lately, here's hoping we get all wins."
3 - Italy have kept three clean sheets in a row for the first time since March 2017, under Giampiero Ventura. Team.#ItaUSA— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) November 20, 2018
Italy could not find a way to beat Ethan Horvath until late on, with Domenico Berardi and Federico Chiesa failing to make the most of their chances.
"It was heading to 0-0 again but that’s football, there’s nothing you can do about it," Mancini added.
"We had so many chances, the important thing is that it was a good performance.
"It was the first time we were playing together, so we couldn't think of playing like the first half for 90 minutes.
"We got a little stretched out as we pushed harder to find the breakthrough."
27 de mayo 2019
|Cherry-Evans named as Maroons include three debutants|
|Giannis: Bucks will be back stronger and better|
|Na claims Charles Schwab Challenge|
|´I´m in pieces´ – Gattuso to consider Milan future|
|Finland edge Canada to clinch third world title|
|Al Mubarak defends City´s spending amid criticism|
|De Rossi bids emotional farewell to Roma|
|Allegri: I won´t be rushed into my next move|
26 de mayo 2019
|Atalanta book Champions League debut, Empoli relegated|
|No excuses from Kerber after Paris exit, Svitolina dispatches Venus|
|Pagenaud holds off Rossi to win Indy 500|
|Inter 2 Empoli 1: Keita, Nainggolan secure Champions League berth in thriller|
|SPAL 2 AC Milan 3: Kessie brace not enough for Champions League place|
|Lyon star Aouar eager for Guardiola link-up|
|Seven-try St Helens thrash Castleford Tigers|
|Donnarumma injured in AC Milan´s final Serie A fixture|
|Relaxed ´outsider´ Federer cruises through, Paris woe for Cecchinato|
|Juventus deny making an approach for Guardiola|
|De Ligt keeping options open amid Barca and Man United rumours|
|Sampdoria 2 Juventus 0: Allegri suffers late defeat in final game|
|Wiesberger fends off MacIntyre to win Made in Denmark|
|Sokratis: Arsenal boss Emery the best coach of my career|
|Verstappen: I gave it my all to pass Hamilton|
|Cataldo takes stage win on rough day for Roglic|
|Kovac reassured as Hoeness recommends Boateng for Bayern exit|
|I was fighting with the spirit of Lauda - Hamilton wins his ´hardest race´|
|Galatasaray leading race to sign Babel|
|Ireland flanker O´Brien ruled out of Rugby World Cup|
|Fittler hopeful on Frizell as wounded Dragons send duo for scans|
|Hamilton clings on for Monaco glory but Mercedes´ one-two run ends|
|Federer enjoys serene Roland Garros return|
|Suarez hits out at questions over Barcelona commitment|
|Injured Auger-Aliassime withdraws from French Open|
|Sancho ´guaranteed´ to stay at Borussia Dortmund|
|Kerber stunned by teenager Potapova in Roland Garros opener|
|This party is for everyone! Emotional Parejo leads Valencia in Copa celebrations|
|Cleary in for New South Wales, Maloney misses out|
|Emery had to convince Arsenal stars to care about Europa League|
|Frizell suffers Origin scare, Addo-Carr at the double for Storm|
|Leonard´s experience made a difference, admits Antetokounmpo|
|Pochettino fears Kane call could decide Champions League final|
|Giannis: This is just the start for the Bucks|
|Best player in the NBA? Leonard focused on Raptors´ success|
|Manchester United 2 Bayern Munich 1 (1998-99) - Where are they 20 years on?|
|Manchester United 1998-99: The best wins of Ferguson´s treble from Turin to Barcelona|
|Yankees sweep double-header, remain atop AL East|
|Tuchel´s PSG extension - Opta numbers help to explain new deal|
|Herring beats Ito to claim WBO super-featherweight title|
|Three takeaways from Raptors´ historic win over Bucks|
|Raptors defeat Bucks to earn first ever Finals berth|
|MLS Review: Rooney salvages draw for DC, Union beaten|
|Liverpool want to emulate Man City dominance – Henderson|
|Marcelino revels in ´happiest day´ after Copa del Rey success|
|Kovac praises Bayern turnaround after completing double|
|Red Sox´s Devers robbed of home run by Minute Maid Park girder|
|Warriors´ Iguodala considering retirement|
|Na leads at Colonial, Spieth two shots back|
|Valverde vows to fight on at Barcelona|
|I can be one of the best in the world - Zverev defiant after return to winning ways|
|Finland to face Canada in final after downing Russia|
|Valverde not to blame for Barcelona´s Copa defeat, says president Bartomeu|
|Rummenigge reaffirms Bayern Munich´s Kovac stance after DFB-Pokal triumph|
|Barcelona season bittersweet after Copa loss, says Pique|
25 de mayo 2019
|Ribery proud after making victorious Bayern Munich farewell|
|Centurion Smith unfazed by England boos|
|Warrington battle past Wigan as Giants humiliate Hull|
|Barcelona 1 Valencia 2: Valverde pressure increases as Catalans denied historic Copa win|
|Leinster retain Pro14 title to spoil Hogg farewell|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton hopes rain will not scupper likely Monaco glory|
|Bayern Munich 3 RB Leipzig 0: Lewandowski´s brace helps secure domestic double|