The National Women’s team runs towards the 2023 World Cup. Last night the second success with Croatia arrived at the “Patini” in Castel di Sangro – the third in the qualifying round – which allows the Italians to maintain the top of Group G.
Milena Bertolini’s team, despite the many opportunities created, has repeatedly pardoned the Croatians, failing to immediately close the match as hoped for on the eve by the coach, who however appreciated the spirit with which her players took the field: ” I congratulate the girls because they had the right attitude, especially in the first minutes of the game – he declared immediately after the final whistle – With the passing of the minutes we lowered ourselves a little too much, but in the second half we resumed playing as we know. even if we should have been more precise and more cynical. This is the aspect we have to work on ”. On Tuesday Gama and her teammates will take the field in Vilnius (5.30 pm, live on Rai 2) to challenge the hosts of Lithuania, still at zero points after losing against Switzerland and Romania.
There are three line-up innovations compared to the race held a month ago in Croatia. In place of the unavailable Giuliani and Bartoli Schroffenegger and Boattin play, in midfield Rosucci takes the place of Galli, while in attack the coach relies on the unprecedented trident formed by Giacinti, Girelli and Cernoia, ready to retreat its range of action to favor the insertions of Bonansea, deployed today at the full range. To change, in addition to the interpreters, is therefore also the form, with the Azzurre abandoning the traditional 4-3-3 to take sides with an offensive traction 3-4-3. Stella Gotal, 28-year-old interim coach of the Croatian national team, responds with a very prudent 5-4-1 in which the former Juventus goalkeeper Bačić and the Hellas Verona winger Jelenčić stand out.
Italy starts off strong and hits the mark on the first action with a very precise shot from the edge of the Cernoia area, good at exploiting the perfect side of her clubmate Girelli. Bertolini’s team is in charge of the pitch, spins the ball with speed and on the right wing constantly puts the opponents in difficulty, forced on 8 ‘to put an end to the blue pressing by landing in the Giacinti area. On the spot, Girelli appears twice who, after a first attempt made by the match director for the early entry of some players in the penalty area, coldly finds the 2-0 amid the applause of the fans present at the ‘Patini’ . Croatia feels the blow and if you exclude a conclusion from Gilbo’s distance, which ended just outside, it fails to worry Schroffenegger, while the Azzurre lower the pace a little too much, facilitating the work of the guests with the passing of the minutes.
The second half opens with Bonansea giving way to Guagni, absent due to many, too many injuries since 8 March 2020. Italy tries to regain the polish of the first minutes of the game and at 6 ‘touches the trio with a Free kick from Cernoia, immediately afterwards Giacinti scares Bačić with a powerful but imprecise shot that ends over the crossbar. At 11 ‘the top scorer Girelli – at his 48th center in the national team – gives way to Pirone, who at the second ball played finds his first blue goal with a precise diagonal. The game goes by without any other goals but with many missed opportunities by the Azzurre, ready to make up for the match scheduled for Tuesday in Vilnius.
The match report
Networks: 2 ‘Cernoia, 8’ Girelli (rig.), 19 ‘Pirone
ITALY (3-4-3): Schroffenegger; Linari, Gama (23 ‘st Lenzini), Salvai; Cernoia, Rosucci, Caruso, Boattin (35 ‘st Di Guglielmo); Bonansea (1 ‘st Guagni), Giacinti (23’ st Cantore), Girelli (11 ‘st Pirone). Available: Baldi, Durante, Bergamaschi, Di Guglielmo, Soffia, Galli, Cantore, Glionna, Serturini. Ct: Milena Bertolini.
CROATIA (5-4-1): Bačić; Dulčić, Spajić (1 ‘st Čanjevac), Balog, Pranješ, Jelenčić (40’ st Kirilenko); Gegollaj, Pezelj, Lubina, Lojna (40 ‘st Zdunić); Gilbo. And disp: Filipović, Bračević, Kunštek, Taritaš, Jedvaj, Petarić. Ct: Stella Gotal.
Referee: Petra Pavlikova (SVK). Assistants: Maria Sukenikova (SVK) and Ivana Alezarova (SVK). Official room: Maria Krcova (SVK).
Note: ammonite Pezelj, Gama, Bonansea.