Matteo Politano came off the bench to snatch a late winner for Italy, breaking the deadlock in the 94th minute against United States.
Roberto Mancini's side toiled for much of Tuesday's international friendly in Genk but finally found a way to beat impressive goalkeeper Ethan Horvath with mere seconds remaining in added time.
Politano only came on as a substitute with three minutes to play but he dashed into the box to finish sweetly at the end of a rare incisive attack from the Azzurri.
Italy have now kept three clean sheets in a row but Mancini will be concerned about how long it took his team to break down an inexperienced United States side.
Horvath denied Federico Chiesa in the third minute, the Fiorentina forward then rifling wide of the far post.
In a lively start for the Azzurri, the busy Horvath blocked a Leonardo Bonucci effort after the centre-back was picked out by a clever free-kick from debutant Stefano Sensi.
Horvath tipped over a dipping 20-yard curler from Domenico Berardi in the 39th minute and had to be alert to push away Marco Verratti's inswinging free-kick as Italy kept pushing for the opener.
Half-time substitute Vincenzo Grifo delivered a chipped cross that Verratti could not quite jump high enough to convert as the onslaught continued after the interval.
United States, for whom Christian Pulisic became their youngest captain of the modern era, finally recorded a shot in the 63rd minute when Kellyn Acosta's free-kick found Walker Zimmerman at the back post, but Salvatore Sirigu palmed the defender's header away.
Grifo forced yet another save from Horvath and teenage striker Moise Kean dragged a decent chance wide on his debut as Italy grew increasingly desperate.
But in the last minute of added time, Verratti fed Roberto Gagliardini and the Inter midfielder laid off a clever pass for the onrushing Politano to collect and beat the unfortunate Horvath.
It is seven games in a row under Mancini without a goal in the first half for Italy and their lack of a clinical edge in front of goal was clear to see. Plenty of chances were created and Horvath had a lot to do, but not many of his saves were particularly challenging to pull off. It took Inter team-mates Politano and Gagliardini, both late substitutes, to unlock the US defence.
Horvath repels Azzurri attack
United States were grateful for goalkeeper Horvath, the 23-year-old keeping Italy at bay almost single-handedly. He was perhaps fortunate Italy's finishing was so poor until Politano's late impact, but the Club Brugge goalkeeper showed excellent reflexes. He did not deserve to be on the losing side.
Berardi and Chiesa lacklustre
Italy have lacked an elite striker for some time and on this evidence, neither Berardi nor Chiesa have the quality required to score regularly at international level. Their work outside the box was adequate but when the chances came they failed to make the most of the opportunities.
Focus turns to domestic duties as the next international break is not until March.
19 de febrero 2019
|Wenger was convinced Ramsey would stay at Arsenal|
|Halep too strong for Bouchard in Dubai|
|Italy captain Parisse to miss Ireland match|
|Philander to miss second Sri Lanka Test with hamstring injury|
|Jesus and Stones absent from Manchester City training|
|Lukaku ready to be versatile for Solskjaer´s Manchester United|
|Dropping Parra & Lopez a sporting decision, insists Brunel|
|24 all out! Oman make unwanted history against Scotland|
|Dybala: Allegri has helped me develop|
|Russell ruled out of France clash|
|Hazard should leave Chelsea for Real Madrid ´to become stronger´|
|RFEF president Rubiales plans Supercopa de Espana revamp|
|Henshaw extends with Ireland and Leinster through to 2022|
|100 days to go: Cricket World Cup takes over Trafalgar Square|
|Bonucci rejected Real Madrid for Juventus return|
|Semenya releases her own list of experts in response to IAAF|
|Ozil might be in Arsenal comfort zone, says Wenger|
|France change half-back pairing for Scotland clash|
|Joshua is going to crack like an egg, predicts Miller|
|Klopp: Critics of powerful Bayern Munich look silly|
|Barcelona planning for post-Messi future - Bartomeu|
|Atletico Madrid v Juventus: 22 goals, three hat-tricks - Ronaldo´s remarkable record against Atleti|
|Schalke v Manchester City: ´Special kid´ Leroy Sane heads back home|
|Lewandowski chasing record, Suarez out to end away rut - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Mata: Pogba showed why he´s one of the best|
|Murray: Playing for Cardinals? That would be nice|
|Favre not worried despite Dortmund´s five-game winless run|
|Pro Piacenza expelled from Serie C after 20-0 humiliation|
|Beal tried recruiting players to Wizards during All-Star break|
|Kyrgios edges ´good mate´ Millman at Delray Beach Open|
|Messi is the only genius in football, says Capello|
|No chance of Icardi moving to Juve – Inter president|
|Nani joins MLS side Orlando|
|´He´s unreal´ – Warriors´ Curry praises Duke star Zion|
|Iguodala replaces LeBron as VP of NBPA|
|Lakers coach Walton: LeBron and I get along just fine|
|Pogba´s one of the best midfielders in the world – Solskjaer|
|Liverpool wanted Sancho but Man City wouldn´t sell to us, claims Klopp|
|Solskjaer hails ´massive´ result against Chelsea after PSG loss|
|Two-time Open 13 champion Simon avoids upset against Hoang|
|Sarri worried by results, not fans´ jeers|
|Mickelson, Tiger learn WGC-Mexico Championship groupings|
18 de febrero 2019
|Serena aiming to surpass Court´s major record this year - Mouratoglou|
|Solskjaer trusts us, we trust him – Pogba|
|Vettel revels in ´unbelievable´ start to F1 testing, Williams woe continues|
|Man United visit Wolves in FA Cup last eight, Swansea to host Man City|
|Giants manager Bruce Bochy to retire after 2019 season|
|Nurnberg 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Stalemate leaves Bayern within striking distance|
|Chelsea 0 Manchester United 2: Solskjaer´s men bounce back to reach FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Wozniacki explains ongoing struggle with viral illness after Dubai withdrawal|
|Petkovic drops just one game against Bogdan in Budapest|
|Barcelona have learned from Roma humiliation - Valverde|
|Djokovic and Biles take top Laureus honours|
|Leeds United fined £200,000 by EFL following spying controversy|
|Tiger Woods wins Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award|
|Gundogan marvels at Man City team-mate David Silva|
|Djokovic can match Nadal and Federer in major honours - Becker|
|Ribery doubtful for Liverpool trip after daughter´s birth|
|Webb outlines commitment to Toulon after president´s outburst|
|Griezmann: Champions League home final gives us extra motivation|
|Salihamidzic and Bayern not daunted by ´special´ Anfield atmosphere|
|Serena returns to WTA top 10 for first time as a mother|
|Saunders to fight Isufi for vacant WBO super-middleweight belt|
|West Ham reveal plans to improve London Stadium atmosphere|
|Wasps sign Minozzi and announce it with ´Super Mario´ mash-up|
|Unwell Wozniacki pulls out of Dubai Tennis Championship|
|Dananjaya returns to Sri Lanka squad for South Africa ODIs|
|Henderson targets Premier League and Champions League double|
|Hogg ruled out as Townsend adds six to Scotland squad|
|Cancellara backs Cavendish to claim more stage wins|