Women’s soccer, Italy qualifies for the 2023 World Cup

The Bertolini girls qualify for the second time in a row (the first time in the national team’s history) thanks to the first place in the group thanks to goals from Giacinte and Poatin.

“Let’s go to the World Cup,” we read on the big screens of the Paolo Matza stadium in Ferrara. Mission accomplished and European disappointment behind it. For the second time in a row after France 2019, the women’s national team flies to the World Cup: next year on the other side of the world (between Australia and New Zealand) without having to resort to the play-offs that would have been filled. of pitfalls. Ferrara is still doing well: after the victory in April 2018 with Belgium paved the way for the qualification that won two months later in Florence against Portugal, Mazza secured a 1 (2-0) against Romania, a sine qua non to avoid checking for updates. The match between Switzerland and Moldova, which the Swiss beat 15-0, finished second and which would have closed out the top spot on goal difference if Italy and Romania had ended equally. “I am so happy for the girls, to have the opportunity to play the World Cup again is a wonderful thing – in the words of coach Melina Bertolini – for the first time Italy have qualified for the World Cup twice in a row, and we know how important that is. For the girls and for the movement. We knew it was going to be a tough match. But we managed to win it.”

Lilies open

Italy, compared to the goleada of Moldova, has changed only one player: Greggi on the field instead of Rosucci. Triple spear attack with Bonfantini, Girelli and Giacinti. Romania, now out of the qualifier talks, clearly came to play the game in an effort to make Italy’s afternoon as difficult as possible: very short defensive lines and midfield, few spaces for the Blues. To eliminate stress, in an unsurprising match, Valentina Giacenti took care of her, who at the age of 29 had the help of her new Roma teammate Greg and beat goalkeeper Parallotta with her left foot.

Boatine closes

Two changes at the start of the second half for Bertolini: in Glionna and Di Guglielmo for Bonfantini and Bartoli, the last victim of a shoulder problem. Then, at 66 minutes, from Russochi and in Greg. The second half ended with Italy shyly trying to score the doubling goal with two shots from distance and Romania eagerly keeping the blue, as Switzerland meanwhile continued to score to close the gap in goal difference. And for this reason, when Poatin threw the ball 2-0 at Parallotta in the 29th minute (the same minute as the first-half goal), the entire bench entered the field to embrace the Juventus full-back, who chose the day. Just to score the first goal in the first national team.

countdown

In the last minutes, even the unavailable players in the stands came down to the bench, waiting for a triple whistle: among these, Barbara Bonanci was caught in the stands moved by cams (“Perhaps these tears are also for the disappointment of the European Championship”, as Bertolini says) as well as Cecilia Salvai, who had to miss the 2019 World Cup and European Championship 2022 due to injury, and fate is giving her another chance.