Nazionale A Femminile

Crucial EURO 2025 qualifier against the Netherlands. Soncin: “Need pragmatism to reach our targets"

Italy face their penultimate match of the group on Friday in Sittard (20:45 CEST on Rai Sport). Points will be essential going into the game against Finland on 16 July in Bozen

Monday, July 8, 2024

Crucial EURO 2025 qualifier against the Netherlands. Soncin: “Need pragmatism to reach our targets

After twelve days of training camp, the National Women's National Team kicked off the week that could decide the fate of EURO 2025 qualification with Andrea Soncin's press conference and an afternoon training session at their base in Riscone. The Azzurre's focus is always towards Friday's match (20:45 CEST, live on Rai Sport) away to the Netherlands, top of the group with a two-point advantage over Norway and Italy, third in light of a worse goal difference.

The top two in each League A group will book their plane ticket to Switzerland - where the tournament will take place in a year's time - without having the need to go through the play-offs. Earning points at the Fortuna Stadion in Sittard would therefore allow the team to play for automatic qualification in the final group game against Finland, scheduled for Tuesday 16 July (19:00 CEST) in Bolzano. Otherwise, the chances would be significantly reduced, especially in the event of a Norwegian victory in the Scandinavian derby.

However, it is useless to think too far ahead, because "we are completely focused on the first match", the coach underlined decisively: "There is a great deal of confidence; over the last month with the staff, we have closely followed the work of the players and we have received only positive responses. We wanted to go into the last 180 minutes with the possibility of qualifying. At the start of the campaign, few believed in it, but we have been working hard to get this far and are confident we can achieve this big goal."

To achieve this, the Azzurre will have to put aside the regret for losing leads in the last minute in both matches against Norway, "which is in any case a sign of the awareness achieved by the group", added Soncin, and keep in mind the aspects on which to improve: "We are focused on looking at what we are responsible for and we must try to be perfect in what we can control," the coach responded to those who pointed out to him that the attackers have not scored for three games. "Good play is not enough to reach our objective; we will also need pragmatism. The Netherlands are very strong; they look to go forward and love to play vertically; we want to repeat the great performance of the reverse fixture. We know they will start with determination, but they will give us space and we will have to be good at taking advantage of the situations we create."

At the end of the conference, there was also space for a reflection on the new role of Chiara Marchitelli, who has become head of the team's delegation ("she is a point of reference for all of us, an important figure who can give a lot to the national team and to the whole movement"), as well as an appeal to the public of Bozen, who in just over a week's time will want to help Italy towards the European Championship Finals: "It will be a great evening because the girls always provide great experiences to others," he concluded. "There were great atmospheres in the other games, with the fans and the team pushing each other. It will be nice to see the players putting in the effort and commitment on the pitch, getting everyone present involved, starting from the boys and girls who will fill up the Druso stands".

Squad list

Goalkeepers: Rachele Baldi (Fiorentina), Laura Giuliani (Milan), Katja Schroffenegger (Fiorentina), Margot Shore (Hellas Verona);

Defenders: Elisa Bartoli (Roma), Valentina Bergamaschi (Juventus), Lisa Boattin (Juventus), Lucia Di Guglielmo (Roma), Maria Luisa Filangeri, Martina Lenzini (Juventus), Elena Linari (Roma), Elisabetta Oliviero, Julie Piga (Milan), Cecilia Salvai (Juventus), Angelica Soffia (Milan);

Midfielders: Arianna Caruso (Juventus), Giulia Dragoni (Barcelona), Aurora Galli, Manuela Giugliano (Roma), Giada Greggi (Roma), Eva Schatzer (Juventus), Emma Severini (Fiorentina);

Forwards: Chiara Beccari (Juventus), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Agnese Bonfantini (Juventus), Michela Cambiaghi (Inter), Sofia Cantore (Juventus), Michela Catena (Fiorentina), Valentina Giacinti (Roma), Benedetta Glionna (Roma), Cristiana Girelli (Juventus), Martina Piemonte (Everton), Annamaria Serturini (Inter).

Calendar, results and table of Group 1 (League A)

Matchday 1: ITALY 2-0 Netherlands, Norway 4-0 Finland

Matchday 2: Finland 2-1 ITALY, Netherlands 1-0 Norway 

Matchday 3: Norway 0-0 ITALY, Netherlands 1-0 Finland 

Matchday 4: Finlandia 1-1 Netherlands, ITALY 1-1 Norway

Matchday 5 (12 July): Netherlands vs. ITALY (20:45 CEST, Sittard), Finland vs. Norway (19;00 local time, 18:00 CEST, Turku)

Matchday 6 (16 July): ITALY vs. Finland (19:00 CEST, Bozen), Norway vs. Netherlands (19:00 CEST, Bergen)

Table: Netherlands 7 points, Norway and ITALY 5, Finland 4