Nazionale Universitaria

The Azzurrini beat France to qualify for the Universiade semi-finals

Strada's goal at the death wins it for Italy. Up next is Japan on Thursday

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Azzurrini beat France to qualify for the Universiade semi-finals

Italy vs. France should always be played on 9 July: it might not have been the same as that famous night in Berlin 13 years ago, but there were some great scenes in Benevento as the University National Team secured their place in the Universiade semi-finals thanks to Strada’s goal in added time. On Thursday evening in Salerno, the Azzurrini will face the current title holders Japan. “We had to dig in but it was great,” said Head Coach Daniele Arrigoni. “The lads were fantastic, everyone made sure that they were ready.” Gigi Corino, Arrigoni’s assistant, had some special words to say: “I’d like to dedicate this win to my mum, who passed away on 28 June.” Finally, captain Ungaro concluded with the words: “This is everyone’s victory.”

The match. Arrigoni made a number of changes from the match against Ukraine, with Sbrissa in midfield and Florio in defence being the only players to retain their place in the team.

Italy started the game well: they looked to go forward and didn’t allow themselves to be intimidated by France, who picked up two bookings within the first 30 minutes. Despite creating chances, the Azzurrini weren’t able to find the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes. Sbrissa had Italy’s best opportunity, but he fired over following good work by Ungaro as the half was drawing to a close.

In the second half, fatigue began to set in, but Italy continued to battle away. Meanwhile, France were showing more belief than they had done in the first half. But when it looked like the match was heading to penalties, up stepped Strada with a stunning free kick. An indescribable feeling for both the team and fans.

Italy 1-0 France

ITALY: Cucchietti, Serena, Gatti, Zonta, Sbrissa (59’ Giraudo), Ungaro, Florio, Vitturini, Tentardini (76’ Strada), Collodel (75’ Galli), Galeandro (64’ Ruzzittu). A disposizione: Marcantognini, Mercadante, Pogliano, Cericola, Grieco. Head Coach: Arrigoni.

: Seznec, Roux, Boumejjane, Blasco, Feneuil, Blanchet (67’ Flamant), Guerineau, Tetart, Corneillie, Daniel, Mayer (84’ Collomb). A disposizione: Rempp, Chavanon, Clement-Triaut, Gomel, Cicutta, Couteau, Ozee. Head Coach: Naidon.
Referee: Hennessy (Finland)

: Martinelli and Rinaldi (Italy)

Fourth official
: Weinberger (Austria)

: 92’ Strada

. Bookings: 18’ Blanchet, 32’ Feneuil, 38’ Serena, 48’ Florio, 86’ Tetart, 91’ Corneillie. Corners: 6-4 for Italy.
Added time: 3’, 4’.