Italy beat Iceland 1-0 at Coverciano thanks to a second-half goal from CarusoThe Azzurre emerge victorious from the first game of the friendly double-header between the sides
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Milena Bertolini’s Azzurre continued their winning run today, beating Iceland 1-0 in the first game of the friendly double-header between the sides. The opening hour was an even affair, with the two teams cancelling each other out in the first hour. Then, just past the halfway stage of the second half, Italy took the lead through Caruso, who did well to make the most of some indecision in the Icelandic backline. Iceland put the pressure on in the closing stages but only fashioned one real goalscoring opportunity, with Durante producing a solid stop. Milena Bertolini fielded several players who haven’t been regulars in the side, and the Head Coach will be pleased with the commitment, dedication and many positive signs that she saw.
At 16:00 CEST on Tuesday, Italy will once again face each other at the Stadio Enzo Bearzot, with the upcoming match providing an opportunity to give those who didn’t take to the pitch today a chance.
THE MATCH – As expected, Milena Bertolini too the opportunity to give many Azzurre youngsters a chance. In defence, Soffia made her Italy debut, while Empoli captain Di Guglielmo was also selected alongside the veterans Salvai and Linari. In midfield, Bellucci also made her first Italy appearance, with Galli and Caruso being selected either side of her. A trio consisting of Serturini, Glionna and Cantore lined up in attack. Italy immediately tried to cause their opponents problems, looking to make the most of Serturini and Glionna’s pace and dribbling abilities. Despite plenty of crosses and balls forward, chances were at a premium in the first half, with two long-range attempts from Cantore being the only efforts of note.
At half-time, Bertolini replaced Salvai and Bellucci with Pettenuzzo and Prugna. Iceland looked more enterprising in the opening stages of the second half. As a result, the Italy Head Coach decided to switch things up and brought on Bonfantini and Marinelli for Glionna and Serturini, both of whom looked tired following their constant running in the opening period.
As the minutes ticked by, it seemed like Iceland were beginning to get the upper hand with their physicality, but Italy refused to be intimidated and tried to hit their opponents on the counter, making the most of the pace of the substitutes out wide in the process. Plenty of commitment and dedication was shown, even if the Azzurre were lacking a bit of ruthlessness at times. Nevertheless, Italy did score the only goal of the game in the 70th minute, when Caruso made the most of some poor defending, rounded the goalkeeper and supplied the finish. With the match drawing to a close, Durante produced an excellent stop and Bonfantini came close to doubling the Azzurre’s lead, but the scoreline didn’t change.
ITALY 1-0 ICELAND
Goal: 70’ Caruso.
ITALIA (4-3-3): Durante; Di Guglielmo, Salvai (46’ Pettenuzzo), Linari (C), Soffia (25’ Merlo); Caruso (75’ Pandini), Bellucci (46’ Prugna), Galli; Glionna (56’ Bonfantini), Serturini (56’ Marinelli), Cantore. Substitutes: Giuliani, Aprile, Zanoli, Cinotti. Head Coach: Milena Bertolini.
ICELAND (4-3-3): Rúnarsdóttir; Viðarsdóttir, Viggósdóttir (46’ Arnardóttir), , Gunnlaugsdóttir; Jóhannsdóttir, Jónsdóttir, Vilhjálmsdóttir (46’ Tómasdóttir); Eiríksdóttir (59’ Jónsdóttir), Albertsdóttir, Jensen. Substitutes: Sigurðardóttir, Ívarsdóttir, Hauksdóttir, Kristjánsdóttir, Árnadóttir, Ágústsdóttir, Halldórsdóttir. Head Coach: T. Halldorsson.
Referee: Valentina Finzi (ITA). Assistants: Tiziana Trasciatti (ITA) and Giulia Tempestilli (ITA). Fourth Official: Deborah Bianchi (ITA).