Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio

Italy start on the wrong foot with defeat to Russia in Rotterdam. Germany next on Friday

There was a surprise result as Russia beat Italy 2-1 after the Azzurre had won seven months ago at the Manaus Tournament and twice in qualifying for the 2013 European Championship. 

Russia took the lead after nine minutes and doubled it after 26, Cabrini’s side were able to create chances and get one back before a hectic finish where they were unfortunate not to equalise. After 88 minutes, the lightest of touches from Ilaria Mauro’s right foot reduced the deficit after a Girelli long ball. Bartoli then went extremely close in stoppage time. A tap-in was disallowed for offside before Shcherbak’s good save and Ziyastinova on the line denied the Azzurre the joy of scoring a late equaliser.

At the Sparta Stadium in Rotterdam which hosted the opener in Group B, Italy started with a 4-4-2. Marchitelli was in goal with a defence of Gama, Salvai, Linari and Bartoli. Stracchi, Giugliano were in the centre of midfield with Guagni and Carissimi out wide. Mauro and Gabbiadini were the front two.

The Azzurre faced an early setback in the ninth minute as Danilova surprised Marchitelli with a shot to the near post. After Russia’s brilliant start, Cabrini’s side looked to react and break down the Russian defence’s wall with play out wide through the lively Carissimi. 

Halfway through the first half, there was a good chance for Mauro who got onto a long ball and controlled it but she was unable to make contract with the finish. Forced to change the issue, the Azzurre went two down after 26 minutes from Morosova’s header as she got in front of Salvai after losing Gama who was forced to leave the pitch after picking up a knock earlier. Cabrini put Tucceri Cimini on in her place.

There was a second chance for Italy after 31 minutes as Carissimi placed a shot towards the top left corner but Shcherbak made a diving save. 

The Azzurre looked livelier after the break. There was a powerful but central strike from Guagni and a shot off target from Giuliano. Marchitelli came up with a great stop down at the feet of Chernomyrdina. Russia began to drop off while Italy where dangerous after 57 minutes as Gabbiadini fired off a right-foot shot but Shcherbak did very well to turn it over the bar. 

After 62 minutes, Cabrini went for it as he brought Girelli on for Carissimi and Bonansea came on for Guagni nine minutes later. Two goals up, Russia looked to count on their physicality to take them through to full time. Ultimately, they were able to but they had some scares on the way. The finale was all Italy as Iliara Mauro halved the deficit in the 88th minute before Bartoli went extremely close twice. 

Progression now looks difficult for the Azzurre. On Friday, they face Germany at the Willem II Stadion at 20:45 CEST. The match is live on Eurosport. 

Full Schedule (Times in CEST)

Monday 17th July 
18:00  ITALY vs. RUSSIA, Sparta Stadion, Rotterdam
Tuesday 18th July 
16:00 Training at the De Zwervers Centre, Smeetslandsweg, Rotterdam (First 15 minutes open to the press)
Wednesday 19th July 
16:00 Training at the De Zwervers Smeetslandsweg, Rotterdam (First 15 minutes open to the press)
Thursday 20th July
15:30 – 16:30 Official training at the De Zwervers centre Smeetslandsweg 15, Rotterdam (First 15 minutes open to the press)
18:30 – 19:00 Press conference at the stadium in Tilburg
Friday 21st July
20:45 GERMANY vs. ITALY Willem II Stadion
Saturday 22nd July

16:00 Training at the De Zwervers Smeetslandsweg, Rotterdam (First 15 minutes open to the press)
Sunday 23rd July 
16:00 Training at the De Zwervers Smeetslandsweg, Rotterdam (First 15 minutes open to the press)
Monday 24th July
18:30 - 19:00 Press conference at the Stadion De Vijverberg, Doetinchem
19:00 – 20:00 Official training (First 15 minutes open to the press)
Tuesday 25th July
20:45 SWEDEN vs. ITALY Stadion De Vijverberg, Doetinchem