Roberto Mancini credited Italy for taking "a step forward" in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Portugal but rued the team's profligacy.
The Azzurri were dominant for most of the match at San Siro, creating particularly good chances in the first half.
Ciro Immobile was especially culpable, firing over from close range early on and then shooting at Rui Patricio in a one-on-one situation just after the half-hour mark.
The draw allowed Portugal to confirm their progression to the Nations League Finals, yet Mancini could see the positives for an Italy side that played with far more purpose than when their World Cup qualification campaign came to a shock end at the hands of Sweden a year ago.
"What matters most in football is scoring goals. We must improve in terms of taking our chances," Mancini told reporters.
The #Azzurri dominated for long spells, but in the end #Mancini's men had to settle for a draw in their final #NationsLeague match.— Italy (@azzurri) November 17, 2018
It was a special night for captain #Chiellini, who picked up his 100th Italy cap.#ItalyPortugal 0-0 #VivoAzzurro pic.twitter.com/bmaJYs4xBT
"We dominated Portugal and then the decline in the second half was due to us getting tired physically. That was only to be expected, as we cannot play in their half for the full 90 minutes.
"But it is a step forward compared to the Poland game [a 1-0 win last time out in the Nations League], as Portugal are superior to Poland and we controlled the game throughout.
"We tried to play for a result and also give valuable experience to the younger players."
Giorgio Chiellini, who made his 100th Italy appearance, echoed the sentiments of his coach, though he is convinced their problems in front of goal will solve themselves in due course.
"We have the foundations," he added. "We dominated the European champions, and the issue of not scoring goals will improve in time.
"We are still getting to know each other. There is another friendly [against United States in Genk] on Tuesday, and from March the three points start to really count [in Euro 2020 qualifying], although I think we did the Nations League justice and played for the result."
|Icardi will renew Inter contract - Nara|
|Mickelson maintains Desert Classic lead|
|Klopp dismisses Coutinho rumours|
|Osaka completes stunning comeback in Melbourne|
|Lakers guard Rondo cleared for full-contact practices|
|Solskjaer: Lukaku is big part of Man United squad|
|Napoli slam FIGC decision to reject Koulibaly appeal|
|We´re the hunters! - Kovac´s Bayern ready to chase down Dortmund|
|Chiefs safety Reid expected to play against Patriots|
|Chelsea not ready to rest Jorginho - Sarri|
|NFL receiver Fitzgerald has hole-in-one in round of golf with former president Obama|
|I´m really loving playing this game - Eagles QB Foles not ready to retire|
|Saints show no mercy, score 111 in rout of Timisoara Saracens|
|CAF Champions League Review: Khenissi double gets ES Tunis up and running|
|Edinburgh clinch home quarter-final, Glasgow also advance to last eight|
|Hazlewood to miss Sri Lanka Tests with back injury|
|Norwich City 3 Birmingham City 1: Canaries end winless run to go second|
|Hoffenheim 1 Bayern Munich 3: Goretzka goals close gap on Bundesliga´s return|
|Cowboys part ways with offensive coordinator Linehan|
|Payton´s message to Saints fans: Hurry up and make noise|
|Transfer talk no distraction for Inter, says Spalletti|
|Memories of 2015 still linger for Vunipola as England begin World Cup year|
|De Bruin´s 85th-minute try consigns Kings to eighth straight loss|
|Bielsa´s Derby County dossier detail ´pretty standard´ – OptaPro chief|
|Injury-hit Madrid lose Navas to adductor issue|
|Patriots coach Belichick still gets nervous ´every week´|
|Copa del Rey draw: Barcelona to meet Sevilla in quarter-finals|
|Kohli: No one more committed to India than Dhoni|
|Brook questions Khan credibility following Crawford agreement|
|Sad Pochettino admits Bielsa is ´wrong´|
|Simeone eyes LaLiga gain after Atletico´s Copa del Rey pain|
|Rossi a no-go for Tottenham as Pochettino rules out panic buys|
|Guardiola identifies ´three or four´ midfield targets|
|Nadal encourages patience in young stars after humbling De Minaur|
|NFL playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Patriots v Chiefs|
|Robertson helping Klopp learn Scottish for Dalglish chats|
|Levante appeal over alleged ineligible Barcelona player rejected|
|NFL Playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Rams v Saints|
|Lowry to take three-shot Abu Dhabi lead into final round|
|Training is not for anyone else - Klopp condemns Bielsa over ´spygate´ row|
|In other countries, everybody does it - Guardiola respect remains for spying Bielsa|
|Cilic battles back to join Nadal, Federer in fourth round|
|Klopp: Trent unbelievable for playing through pain|
|Faulkner provides super start and fabulous finish to sink Scorchers|
|Ref admits error in key foul call on Lonzo Ball in Lakers-Thunder game|
|Marina Granovskaia is working very hard – Sarri ´confident´ of January signings|
|Tuchel confirms Rabiot out of PSG contention|
|Madrid derby kick-off confirmed for February 9|
|Benzema fit to face Sevilla despite broken finger, Solari confirms|
|Bournemouth boss Howe says no offers received for Wilson|
|Kerber cruises after Wozniacki, Sabalenka upsets|
|Mbappe a great player and great person, says beaming Beckham|
|Gracia confident someone will step up if Doucoure leaves for PSG|
|Albrighton signs new Leicester deal|
|Niasse joins Cardiff on loan from Everton|
|Hendrick credited with Fulham strike|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Adelaide United 2: Goodwin compounds Wanderers woes|
|Chahal and Dhoni carry India to ODI triumph|
|Levante report Barcelona for alleged use of ineligible player in Copa del Rey|
|Solskjaer regrets Sanchez´s Reading setback|
|Tomic brands Hewitt a ´liar´ as feud continues|
|Ruthless Nadal thrashes teenager De Minaur|
|Wozniacki enjoyed status as defending champion in Melbourne|
|Solskjaer backs Mourinho to return to football´s big time|
|Murray to miss Open 13 Marseille|
|Solskjaer´s United turnaround no easy task, says Hughton|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|How James Harden´s 2018-19 numbers compare to his MVP campaign|
|It´s insane! - Tsitsipas excited to face ´legend´ Federer|
|Sharapova ends Wozniacki title defence|