Women’s football, 2023 World Cup qualifiers: Italy overwhelms Croatia 5-0

Women’s football, 2023 World Cup qualifiers: Italy overwhelms Croatia 5-0
Women’s football, 2023 World Cup qualifiers: Italy overwhelms Croatia 5-0

The women’s national team won 5-0 at home to Croatia, on the second day of group G valid for qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. Italy scored in the first half with captain Sara Gama and Valentina Giacinti. In the second half, Giacinti again scores, the fourth goal is signed by Cristiana Girelli, Valentina Cernoia closes the accounts with a penalty. At 64 ‘, on the score of 4-0 for Italy, the match suffers an interruption of over an hour due to a failure in the lighting system


16 ‘Gama, 31’ and 47 ‘Giacinti, 50’ Girelli, 82 ‘rig. Cernoia

Six points, eight goals scored and zero conceded. The journey of the women’s national team could not have started better in the qualifiers towards the World of 2023. After the 3-0 at the Moldova, Italy also makes its second game of the season, beating Croatia 5-0 thanks to goals from Range, Hyacinths (shotgun), Baby walkers e Cernoia. With this success the Italians conquer – waiting to know the results of Switzerland and Romania – the summit of Group G with six points.

Bertolini: “The girls were good, it wasn’t easy”

In Karlovac the blue, perfectly interpreting the indications of Milena Bertolini, which he had asked for on the eve of the match greater incisiveness in front of goal, unlock the result at the first useful opportunity, kicking off the 17 ‘at the goal festival. The Croatians, despite an encouraging start, collapse at a distance, limiting themselves to timid attempts at reaction, neutralized by Italy’s defense. The match, suspended after poker by Girelli due to a problem with the stadium’s lighting system, it resulted in the expulsion of Giuliani and with the penalty kick converted by Cernoia. “The girls were good – Milena Bertolini declared after the final whistle – in the first half we have been a bit fearful in the contrasts, but in the second half we accelerated. I’m happy because it wasn’t easy to score five goals against such a physical opponent ”.

Galli on the pitch from the first minute

There are two new features compared to Friday’s match against Moldova. In midfield, given the absence of the injured Giugliano, Milena Bertolini launches from the first minute Galli, supported for the occasion by Cernoia e Caruso, lined up in the place of the other Juventus player Rosucci. In the very prudent Croatian 5-4-1, on the other hand, two acquaintances of Italian football find space: the former Juventus player is in goal Bacic, bought in the summer by Sporting Lisbon, on the left wing the defender of Hellas Verona Jelencic. In front of the coach as the only offensive reference Prskalo relies on the 19-year-old Glibo, a talented striker who is showing off in the Austrian league.

Italy dangerous on set pieces

The start of the match is poor in emotions, Croatia defends itself with order and Italy cannot find outlets in the first 10 ‘. The dangers come mainly from free-kick, and it is precisely on the developments of a free-kick kicked by Cernoia that the blue advantage arrives: the conclusion of the Juventus midfielder is printed on the crossbar, on the counter the fastest of all is Gama, who from the edge of the area lets go a powerful and precise right on which Bacić can do nothing. After the goal, Bertolini’s team changes pace, increasing the pressure on their opponents and finding the doubling up with Giacinti, who in the 31 ‘takes advantage of Caruso’s cross from the back to beat the opposing goalkeeper with his head.

Next match on October 25 against Lithuania

On the return to the field there is Gama, hit hard in the ankle at the end of the first half, he enters in his place Lenzini. Italy, on the other hand, is there and in the first five minutes of the second half, they deal a deadly one-two that knocks out the home team: in the 47th minute Bonansea sow the opponents on the right out by offering a Hyacinths the comfortable ball of 3-0, while three minutes later Girelli takes advantage of the free kick of Bergamaschi and with a nice spin he achieves poker. The Italian offensive, more than from the Croatian rearguard, now in evident difficulty, is held back by the problems with the lighting system of the stadium ‘Branko Cavlović-Cavlek’ which force the referee to pause the match for more than an hour. The game resumes with the expulsion of Giuliani, punished for a touch of the hand outside the penalty area, and with the penalty converted by Cernoia for the final 5-0. The path in the world qualifiers will restart from the new challenge against Croatia scheduled on 22 October from the ‘Teofilo Patini’ stadium in Castel di Sangro, while on 25 October the Azzurre will stop in Vilnius to challenge Lithuania.

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