EURO 2022 qualifying: Italy beat Bosnia 5-0 to make it seven wins from seven in Group BThe Azzurre record a comfortable win in Zenica thanks to a Girelli hat-trick and goals from Galli and Linari
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Passion, character and heart. The words used by Cristiana Girelli on the eve of the match perfectly describe the spirit that Italy showed out on the pitch against Bosnia today. In their first match since lockdown, Milena Bertolini’s side picked up where they left off six months ago, winning 5-0 thanks to goals from Galli, Linari and Girelli, the latter of whom bagged a hat-trick and has now scored 42 goals for her country.
Despite it being the team’s first match in 189 days, the Azzurre controlled the match and were able to breach the opposition with quick, defence-splitting football. After this result, Italy now temporarily sit top of Group B, three ahead of Denmark, who will play away to Malta this evening.
“I’m very pleased with the performance,” said Milena Bertolini after the match. “It was vital for us to pick up three points, and we did so by scoring in the first half and doing many good things. The girls were really good. The foundations are in place, but we need to continue to work hard to ensure that we’re fully prepared for our double-header against Denmark.”
FIGC Femminile President Ludovica Mantovani was in attendance at the stadium and had the following to say after the game: “I’d like to compliment the Azzurre. This is a very important result in our qualifying campaign, and I wanted to lend my support to the Women’s National Team. I’d like to thank the Head Coach and the Italy staff involved for being so welcoming.”
THE MATCH – For the match against the third-placed team in Group B, Milena Bertolini went with a tried-and-tested 4-3-3 formation. With Sara Gama out injured, 22-year-old Alice Tortelli made her Azzurre debut alongside Linari, while Bartoli and Boattin were selected as the two full-backs. With Giugliano out through suspension, Fiorentina’s Mascarello lined up in midfield with the Juventus duo Galli and Rosucci. The team’s attacking trio up front was made up of Bonansea, Sabatino and Girelli. The Azzurre, who took to the pitch wearing a special armband in memory of Fino Fini, President of the Football Museum Foundation, immediately tried to get on the front foot through a short passing game which involved constantly switching play.
It took 17 minutes for the Azzurre to break the deadlock: Rosucci found Girelli deep in the opposition half, the latter then picked out Galli, who fired a low shot across Hasanbegovic and into the net to score her sixth Azzurre goal and first during Italy’s Euro 2022 qualifying campaign so far. A few minutes later, Bosnia had their first chance of the game, but Giuliani did well to charge out of her goal and get to the ball before Damjanovic. The first 45 minutes came to an end with a goal from Girelli, who has found the net in all of Italy’s group games so far. The Juve striker’s initial effort was saved by the goalkeeper, but she then made no mistake on the rebound, making it 2-0 with her right foot.
The Azzurre continued to push at the start of the second half, and Girelli struck once again with 53 minutes on the clock, this time from the penalty spot. The following ten minutes saw Italy peg back and, with the home side struggling to get out of their own penalty area, the Azzurre were awarded a further two spot-kicks, missing one but scoring the other through Girelli. With the game won, Bertolini, after bringing on Giacinti in Sabatino’s place, did some experimenting and switched to a 3-5-2 formation, with the Azzurre Head Coach also replacing Boattin and Mascarello with Glionna and Caruso respectively. Linari then bagged Italy’s final goal of the day in the 86th minute, finishing off a corner at the back stick to make it 5-0.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA 0-5 ITALY
Reti: 17’ Galli (I), 39’, 53’ and 64’ Girelli (I), 86’ Linari (I).
BOSNIA ERZEGOVINA (4-3-3): E. Hasanbegovic; Bectas, M. Hasanbegovic (C), Vujadin, Krso; Grebenar (76’ Milinkovic), Kapetanovic, Velagic; Gacanica, Gavric (52’ Krajsumovic), Damjanovic. Substitutes: Gvozderac, Kundic, Simic, Hamzic, Sakotic, Jelcic, Milovic, Hrelja, Haracic, Hasic. Head Coach: Samira Huren.
ITALY (4-3-3): Giuliani; Bartoli, Tortelli, Linari, Boattin (66’ Glionna); Galli, Mascarello (77’ Caruso), Rosucci; Bonansea, Sabatino (54’ Giacinti), Girelli (C). A disp: Schroffenegger, Durante, Bergamaschi, Di Guglielmo, Tucceri Cimini, Prugna, Fusetti, Tarenzi, Polli. Head Coach: Milena Bertolini.
Referee: Silvia Andreia Rosa Domingos (POR), Assistants: Catia Alexandra Tavares (POR) and Tatiana Maria Santos Martins (POR). Fourth official: Beatriz Filipa Campos (POR).