Italy draw in Denmark to stay in contention to automatically qualify for Euro 2022The Azzurre manage to hold the Danes to a 0-0 stalemate in Viborg. Bertolini: “The girls gave everything”
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
35 days on from their defeat to Denmark in Empoli, the Women’s National Team managed to hold the same side to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday, earning a precious point that keeps them in contention for automatic qualification to Euro 2022. The Azzurre took to the pitch with determination, supported each other, fought for every ball and managed to put an end to the hosts’ nine-game winning run in qualifying.
Thanks to this important result, Bertolini’s side have increased their chances of qualifying for the European Championship without having to go through the play-offs. In order to progress as one of the three best runners-up, the Azzurre will be aiming for as big a win as possible in their final group match against Israel in the hope that they’ll finish with a better goal difference than all the other countries in contention.
“I’m happy, because the girls displayed all their quality out on the pitch,” said the Head Coach after the game. “Compared to our first match against them, we began with a different attitude and played as a team, maintaining the right distances and supporting each other throughout. When we manage to do this, we can cause anyone problems. This was an important match in terms of the result and our development.”
The match. Compared to the game in Empoli, Milena Bertolini decided to switch from a 4-3-3 to a 3-5-2 in order to contain Denmark’s wide players. Gama, Fusetti and Bartoli were chosen in defence, while Bergamaschi and Bonansea lined up out wide. Up front, Giugliano was selected alongside Giancinti, who came in for Girelli. Denmark, meanwhile, were without four starters due to positive COVID-19 tests, including Nadia Nadim, who bagged a brace in the first match between the sides. Juventus midfielder Pedersen lined up in midfield, while Madsen and Pernille Harder, the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, were the home side’s front pairing.
The Azzurre started strongly, creating the first opportunity of the match through Giacinti, whose fifth-minute header didn’t trouble 20-year-old Christensen, who was making her debut for her country in the Danish goal. Two minutes later, the Scandinavians had a goal ruled out due to Harder being in an offside position. In the 22nd minute, the same player fed the ball through to Snerle, with Bonansea being forced to intervene to stop a dangerous attack. During the first half, Denmark tried to control matters, but they weren’t playing at a high enough tempo and Italy were able to close down the spaces and remain solid at the back.
After the restart, Denmark took to the pitch with more determination, forcing Italy back in their own half. Giuliani was always ready to react to whatever came her way, although Italy were fortunate when Harder was denied by the crossbar. Milena Bertolini shook things up, bringing on Girelli for Galli, and the Azzurre could have taken the lead in the 70th minute, when Bonansea was denied by the outrushing goalkeeper. In the final few minutes, it was the Italy shot-stopper who was called into action as Denmark piled on the pressure, but Bertolini’s girls managed to hold on to pick up a precious point.
Denmark 0-0 Italy
DENMARK (4-4-2): Christensen; Andersen (88’ Thomsen), S. Pedersen, Sevecke, Svava (74’ Holmgaard); Sorensen (88’ Thogersen), Troelsgaard, J. Pedersen, Snerle (74’ Moller); Madsen (58’ Christiansen), Harder. Substitutes: Thisgaard, Larsen, Holdt. Ct: Sondergaard
ITALY (3-5-2): Giuliani; Gama, Fusetti, Bartoli; Bergamaschi, Galli (57’ Girelli), Caruso (72’ Rosucci), Cernoia, Bonansea; Giugliano, Giacinti (90’ Cantore). Substitutes: Aprile, Baldi, Di Guglielmo, Linari, Tucceri Cimini, Boattin, Mascarello, Tarenzi, Sabatino. Ct: Bertolini
REFEREE: Hussein (GER). Assistants: Biehl (GER) and Joos (GER). Fourth Official: Wildfeuer
NOTE – Bookings: Girelli, J. Pedersen, Sevecke, Troelsgaard, S. Pedersen