Giacinti scores for Italy, an own goal by Ramos is decisive. Coach Bertolini: “Girls who are good at staying focused, it will be difficult to choose which 23 players to take with me”
April 11 – Milan
100 days before the World Cup, Milena Bertolini’s Italy beat Colombia in a friendly (2-1) and sow cautious enthusiasm on the long road to Australia and New Zealand. That of the Tre Fontane – Italy has returned to play in Rome after 20 years – is the second consecutive success for the Azzurre, who in March had interrupted an unpleasant streak of five defeats against the not irresistible South Korea. The worst moment seems to be behind us, despite the absence of the injured Rosucci (provided for technical commentary live on the Figc website) and there are also vulnerabilities that emerged during this match. There is time, however, to work on it and raise the level. “These challenges await us at the World Cup: the girls were good at keeping their heads in what was at times a fight rather than a match – coach Milena Bertolini commented on the Figc website -. Football, however, is also this: a match that gave me the certainty that it will be difficult to choose the 23 players who will go to the World Cup, because the girls are good, the youngsters are doing well. The choice will depend on availability, attitude, enthusiasm, putting oneself available to achieve the goal”.
What a debut
Bertolini decides to use the last test before the call-ups to put two 18-year-olds to the test, making their debut after having passed through the pre-European stage: midfielder Matilde Pavan (owned by Inter) and striker Chiara Beccari (owned by Juventus), protagonists in Serie A with the Como shirt. And the two younger ones, as a business card, decide to enter the opening goal: ball stolen by Pavan, verticalization of Beccari for Giacinti who attacks with conviction and passes Perez (former goalkeeper of Fiorentina and Napoli). Fully at ease in his home stadium, the Roma striker even came close to doubling the lead in the 35th minute, finding the goalkeeper’s answer in this case. The first half, competitively intense, ends like this and it is exactly what was expected: in fact, Colombia – beaten 5-2 by France in last week’s friendly – was chosen as the opponent due to the structural and character similarities with Argentina , which Italy will meet on 24 July in Auckland (Sweden and South Africa are also in the group). At the World Cup, coach Nelson Abadia’s girls will face off in group H against Germany, Morocco and South Korea.
After the interval, the changes shuffled the cards and the South Americans were close to equal with the double chance (in the same action) on the feet of Chacon and Bahr. Colombia seems to have more energy in their legs, they enter hard in the tackles – anything but friendly – and also find the bank of a generous penalty awarded for a slight contact between Salvai and Chacon: from the penalty spot the veteran Usme scores 1-1 by displacing Durante. It’s the most difficult moment for the Azzurri, who risk being overtaken when Caicedo saves Durante. However, Italy knows how to grit its teeth and re-propose itself, finding the new advantage on Monica Ramos’ own goal generated by the entry of the big black and white players: Bonansea goes to look for Girelli in the small area, however finding the deviation of the opponent who sticks his own brings. In any case, Colombia didn’t give up and exalted Durante with a great right foot from outside Ramirez that the Inter goalkeeper went to remove from the crossroads. In the finale, the tension melts away and spaces open up in which first Bonansea (twice) and Piedmont touch the trio.
The next steps
Italy will meet again in mid-June, after the championship is over and after the Coppa Italia final between Juventus and Roma scheduled in Salerno on 4 June. Probably two more friendlies, one during the first part of the retreat and the other directly on New Zealand territory.
MARCATRICS: 14′ pt Giacinti (I), 32′ st Usme (C) with his rigor, 35′ aut. Branches (C)
ITALY (4-3-3):During; Lenzini, Linari, Salvai, Di Guglielmo (40′ st Boattin); Caruso (1′ st Girelli), Giugliano, Pavan; Cantore (40′ st Piedmont), Giacinti (15′ st Bonansea), Beccari (30′ st Bergamaschi). Extras: Giuliani, Baldi, Gama, Filangeri, Bartoli, Serturini, Glionna, Cernoia, Catena, Orsi. All. Bertolini
COLOMBIA (4-2-3-1):Perez; Guzman (44th st C. Arias), Carabali (1st st Vanegas), D. Arias, Ramos; Montoya (1′ st Chacon); Bedoya (44′ st Restrepo); Bahr (16′ st Spine), Usme, Fallen; Ramirez. A disp.: Tomb, Wall, Caracas, Kings, Andrade, Slope, War. All. Abbey Referee: Stavrou (Cypro) (Irodotou-Athanasopoulou, IV Bianchi) Notes: ammonite Caruso (I), Arias (C), Ramirez (C), Bonansea (I).
April 11, 2023 (change April 11, 2023 | 7:50 pm)
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