Sporting Kansas City defender Nico Hasler collected his 65th career cap for the Liechtenstein Men's National Team on Tuesday, playing 90 minutes in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying loss to Italy at Rheinpark Stadion in Vaduz.
Three days after leading his country to a spirited 1-1 home draw with Armenia, Hasler landed another start in an attacking midfield position against a formidable Italian side that had already clinched first place in Group J with three qualifying matches to spare.
Liechtenstein were outmatched but not without fight, holding Italy to a single goal through the first 70 minutes before the visitors broke the game open en route to a 5-0 victory. Andrea Belotti's brace and additional goals from Federico Bernardeschi, Alessio Romagnoli and Stephan El Shaarawy highlighted an affair that saw Liechtenstein unleash eight shot attempts of their own.
Hasler has started all eight matches in Group J thus far, and although his country is mathematically eliminated from advancing to Euro 2020 next summer, Liechtenstein successfully claimed back-to-back results in competitive fixtures for the first time since 2007 after tying Greece last month and drawing Armenia on Saturday.
With a 0-6-2 record through eight Euro qualifying matches, Liechtenstein will conclude their Group J campaign with two games next month, visiting Finland on Nov. 15 and hosting Bosnia and Herzegovina on Nov. 18.
As one of the country’s most decorated players this decade, Hasler has scored three goals for the Liechtenstein Men’s National Team since 2010 and was named Liechtensteiner Footballer of the Year in 2015, 2017 and 2018. He has been an integral member of Liechtenstein’s national team since debuting for the senior side in 2010.
Hasler started seven of nine MLS appearances for Sporting this past season, having joined the side in April from the Chicago Fire.