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

The women’s national team won 5-0 at home against Croatia on Matchday 2 of Group G for qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. Italy scored in the first half with the captain Sara Gama and Valentina Giacinti. In the second half, Giacinti scores again, 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 suffered an interruption of more than an hour due to a failure of the lighting system


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

Six points, eight goals scored and zero conceded. The women’s national team’s journey could not have started better in the playoffs towards the World of 2023. After the 3-0 at Moldova, Italy are also in their second game of the season, beating Croatia 5-0 with goals of Vary, Hyacinths (shotgun), Baby walkers e Cernoia. On the strength of this success, the Italians conquered – while waiting to know the results of Switzerland and Romania – the group G summit with six points.

Bertolini: “The girls were good, it was not easy”

In Karlovac the blue, interpreting perfectly the indications of Milena Bertolini, which he had requested the day before the match more incisor in front of the goal, unlock the result at the first useful opportunity, kick off of the 17 ‘at the goal festival. The Croats, despite an encouraging start, collapsed from a distance, limiting themselves to timid attempts at reaction, neutralized by the Italian defense. The match, suspended after poker by Girelli due to a problem with the stadium lighting system, this resulted in the eviction of Giuliani and with the penalty transformed by Cernoia. “The girls were good – said Milena Bertolini after the final whistle – in the first half we were a little afraid of 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 things compared to Friday’s game against Moldova. In the middle of the field, 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 place of the other Juventus player Rosucci. In Croatia’s very cautious 5-4-1, on the other hand, two acquaintances of Italian football find room: the former Juventus player is in the goal To choke, 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 shines in the Austrian championship.

Dangerous Italy on set pieces

The start of the match was poor in emotions, Croatia defended itself in order and Italy found no outlet in the top 10. The dangers mainly come from the free kick, and it is precisely on the developments of a free kick from Cernoia that the blue advantage arrives: the conclusion of the Juventus midfielder is printed on the crossbar, on the fastest counter of all is Gama, who from the edge of the box releases a powerful and precise line on which Bacić can’t do anything. After the goal, Bertolini’s team changes pace, increasing the pressure on their opponents and finding the double with Giacinti, who in the 31 ‘takes advantage of Caruso’s cross from behind to beat the opposing goalkeeper with a header.

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 returns to his place. Lenzini. Italy, on the other hand, is there and in the first five minutes of the second half they achieve a deadly one-two that knocks out the home team: in the 47th minute Bonansea sow the opponents to the right by offering a Hyacinths the comfortable 3-0 ball, while three minutes later Girelli took advantage of the Bergamaschi and with a nice spin he hits poker. The Italian offensive, more than that of the Croatian rearguard, now in obvious difficulty, was hampered by the problems with the lighting system of the stadium ‘Branko Cavlović-Cavlek’ which force the referee to pause the game for more than an hour. The game resumed with the expulsion of Giuliani, punished for a touchdown outside the penalty area, and with the penalty converted by Cernoia for the final 5-0. The path to the world qualifiers will resume from the new challenge against Croatia scheduled for October 22 from the “Teofilo Patini” stadium in Castel di Sangro, while on October 25 the Azzurre will stop in Vilnius to challenge Lithuania.

Winston Ferguson

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