Nazionale A Femminile

Finland get the better of Italy in Helsinki in Euro 2025 qualifying

In the second group game, the Azzurre took the lead through Di Gugliemo, but the Scandinavians fought back after the break to win it 2-1

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Finland get the better of Italy in Helsinki in Euro 2025 qualifying

The Women's National Team failed to repeat the performance against the Netherlands last week and fell to defeat to an excellent performance by Finland. It ended 2-1 in Helsinki for the home side, who conceded in the 39th minute to Di Guglielmo - her first goal for Italy - but were brave and lucky to come back in the second half through goals from Rantala and a Linari own goal. After two group matches in EURO 2025 qualifying, the Scandinavians now join the Azzurre on three points (the other match between the Netherlands and Norway is later tonight), who were somewhat surprised by the speed and physical strength of their opponents, and slightly under par themselves.

“It was difficult start to the game," said Soncin, "but then we found our stride and patterns. We could have done much better in the second half; the girls fought until the very end for the equaliser and we created some situations that we should've done better in. This match will teach us a lot; we came up against an opponent who exploited its physicality and the ugly side of the game. It's a shame because we could have started off the second half differently."

Italy are now awaiting another (double) Scandinavian test: their journey in Group 1 of League A will get back up going again on Friday 31 May, with a match away to Norway, while the reverse fixture is scheduled for Tuesday 4 June.

THE MATCH. There were four changes to the lineup that started on Friday. In defence, Boattin kept her place, while Di Guglielmo replaced Bartoli; the central pair, formed by captain Linari and Lenzini, completed the unit in front of Giuliani. Galli once again got the nod from the start, who lined up next to Caruso and Giugliano, while Bonansea and Bonfantini gave way to Cambiaghi and Cantore up front, who were either side of Giacinti. The hosts lined up with the classic 4-4-2 and where the quality of Summanen and Sällström, Finland's all-time top scorer with 59 goals, three of which against the Azzurre, stood out. Sampdoria midfielder Heroum and 20-year-old Como striker Sevenius were on the bench, with the only 'Italian' starter being Korpela, the 37-year-old Roma goalkeeper.

In order to not be in numerical disadvantage in midfield, Soncin's team lined up with an 'asymmetrical' 4-3-3, with Cantore supporting the midfield in the defensive phase, Galli moving over to the right and Cambiaghi moving more centrally to be alongside the Giallorosse centre-forward. The hosts - driven on by over five thousand supporters in the stadium - brought a frenetic pace to the game and in the opening half hour Italy struggled to get close to the opposition area. But from the first mistake by Saloranta's players, the Azzurre found the lead: in the 39th minute, Cambiaghi took advantage of Koivisto's failure to intervene and sent in a cross that was blocked by the Biancoceleste defence, before Di Guglielmo pounced and sent a shot on goal from edge of the area which, thanks to Kosola's deflection, ended up going in under the crossbar. On her twenty-fourth appearance, the Roma full-back found her first goal for the national team.

The joy lasted just a handful of minutes though, because Rantala, the 25-year-old Leicester City striker, surprised the Italian defence with a shot from the edge of the area that Giuliani could't keep out at the start of the second half. In the 60th minute, Greggi and Beccari came on for Caruso and Giacinti, and in the 69th minute Girelli replaced Cambiaghi. Thanks to this new freshness, Italy pushed forward with more confidence. Finland, however, showed that they still believed they could go on to win it and in the 75th minute, following a corner kick, Summanen's shot deflected off Linari and the trajectory of the ball was unstoppable for the Italian number 1. At that point, Soncin also put Piemonte on into the mix and the team threw everything forward, in a 4-2-4 formation, in search of an equaliser. But after seven minutes of injury time, the Scandinavians had defended their lead and at the final whistle they celebrated - with a hint of amazement - together with their fans.


Goals: 39’ Di Guglielmo (I), 48’ Rantala (F), 75’ og Linari (F)

FINLAND (4-4-2): Korpela; Koivisto, Kuikka, Nyström, Tynnilä; Siren (72’ Ahtinen), Summanen, Öling (93’ Kollanen), Kosola; Rantala (63’ Sevenius), Sällström (72’ Franssi). Unused subs: Majasaari, Talaslahti, Lindström, Peltonen, Koivisto, Heroum, Hartikainen, Vapola. Head Coach: Marko Saloranta

ITALY (4-3-3): Giuliani; Di Guglielmo, Lenzini, Linari, Boattin; Galli, Giugliano (80’ Piemonte), Caruso (60’ Greggi); Cantore (80' Bonfantini), Giacinti (60’ Beccari), Cambiaghi (69’ Girelli). Unused subs: Baldi, Schroffenegger, Bartoli, Bergamaschi, Salvai, Dragoni, Severini. Head Coach: Andrea Soncin

Referee: Marta Huerta De Aza (SPA). Assistants: Guadalupe Porras Ayuso (SPA) and Eliana Fernández González (SPA). Fourth official: María Gloria Planes Terol (SPA). Note: 5,200 fans, Boattin and Korpela booked.

Fixtures, results and table: Group A1

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

Matchday 2 (9 April): Finland 2-1 ITALY (Helsinki); Netherlands 1-0 Norway (Breda)

Table: Norway, ITALY, Finland and Netherlands 3

Matchday 3 (31 May, times and venues tbc): Norway vs. ITALY, Netherlands vs. Finland

Matchday 4 (4 June, times and venues tbc): ITALY vs. Norway, Finland vs. Netherlands

Matchday 5 (12 July, times and venues tbc): Netherlands vs. ITALY, Finland vs. Norway

Matchday 6 (16 July, times and venues tbc): ITALY vs. Finland, Norway vs. Netherlands