Italy run riot against Israel to secure automatic qualification to Euro 2022. Gravina: “Extraordinary, Azzurre”A thumping 12-0 victory in Florence. Bertolini: “The girls have fulfilled a wonderful dream together”
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Mission complete: Italy ran riot against Israel, winning 12-0 and securing a spot at the 2022 European Championship, which will take place in England in one-and-a-half years. The Azzurre kicked off today’s clash knowing that they had to win and score at least two goals in order to automatically qualify for the Euros. Within four minutes, any remaining nerves had been well and truly extinguished, with Giacinti and Bonansea bagging early goals. These finishes provided the foundation for a wonderful afternoon in Florentina in spring-like weather. Italy’s first two scorers would both go on to net again, with the Azzurre’s remaining goals coming through Girelli, Salvai, Rosucci, Caruso, Sabatino (a brace), Giugliano and an unfortunate own goal from David.
“We’re happy, the European Championship was an important objective for this splendid group and women’s football in Italy,” said Milena Bertolini after the match. “The girls approached the game in the best possible fashion and have fulfilled a wonderful dream together. We were involved in a difficult group, securing direct qualification wasn’t a given. However, we deservedly achieved this.”
“Extraordinary, Azzurre!” This is what FIGC President Gabriele Gravina had to say after today’s result. “This is another important objective that has been achieved, and it’s a reward for all the hard work that has been carried out by Head Coach Bertolini, the whole group and the FIGC, who are investing in women’s football and will continue to do so. It’s a real boost for the whole movement.”
The match. The Azzurre made the perfect start, taking a two-goal lead within four minutes and twelve seconds. In the third minute, Bergamaschi got on the end of Bonansea’s through ball and slotted through Rubin’s legs. Just moments later, Bonansea got on the scoresheet herself, forcing the ball over the line after the goalkeeper had failed to claim the ball. The Azzurre had taken control of the game very early on and all but sealed their spot at Euro 2022 in the 13th minute, when Giacinti headed home Cernoia’s inviting cross from the right.
The Israelis were struggling to contain Italy and were non-existent as an attacking unit, unable to make it into the final third. With 19 minutes on the clock, David, under pressure due to the Azzurre’s high pressing, played a back pass to Rubin, who failed to control the ball and agonisingly watched as it rolled into the net. Not even 20 minutes had passed and Italy were four to the good. After 29 minutes, Rubin was able to make amends somewhat, pushing Salvai’s header behind. However, from the resulting corner, which was taken by Cernoia, she could do nothing as Girelli added herself to the list of goalscorers with a header (5-0).
Just before the interval, Salvai nodded into the net to make it 6-0, the scoreline that Italy would have needed to achieve to automatically qualify for the Euros had the recent Group E qualifying match between Finland and Portugal finished in a draw. Then, a minute into stoppage time, Rosucci rounded off a stunning first half from the penalty spot (7-0).
Nine minutes after the restart, Italy extended their lead still further: Sabatino, who had come on for Girelli at half-time, netted the Azzurre’s second spot-kick of the game (8-0). In the 66th minute, Caruso scored her first goal for her country, heading in another excellent Cernoia corner (9-0). The hosts were enjoying themselves and continued to pose a threat down the wings. After 70 minutes, Bonansea escaped down the left flank and set Sabatino up for an easy tap-in for her second and the Azzurre’s tenth. Bonansea then bagged for the second time too, coolly slotting home from inside the box to finish off an excellent team move started by Glionna. With the match having entered stoppage time, Giugliano also got in on the act, firing into the net from the edge of the area (12-0).
Following the final whistle at the Franchi, the same stadium where the team secured qualification to the 2019 World Cup in France, the Azzurre were able to celebrate making it to Euro 2022.
Italy 12-0 Israel
ITALY: Giuliani; Bergamaschi (58’ Di Guglielmo), Gama (65’ Caruso), Salvai, Bartoli (46’ Boattin); Cernoia, Rosucci (46’ Glionna), Giugliano; Giacinti, Girelli (46’ Sabatino), Bonansea. Substitutes: Schroffenegger, Durante, Linari, Tarenzi, Serturini, Fusetti, Tucceri Cimini. Head Coach: Bertolini
ISRAELE: Rubin; Ozeb, David, Shanab; Michaeli (46’ Revaha), Sofer (46’ Seiden), Sendel, Hazan; Shtainshnaider, Selimhodzic, Avital (46’ Biton). Substitutes: Cohen, Beilin, Been, Zelikowitz, Faingezitch, Cohen, Rantissi, Rahamim, Sharabi. Head Coach: Burstein.
REFEREE: Martincic (CRO). Assistants: Karsic (CRO) and Petravic (CRO). Fourth Official: Bolic (CRO)
GOALSCORERS: 3’ and 13’ Giacinti, 5’ and 80’ Bonansea, 19’ (og) David, 30’ Girelli, 44’ Salvai, 45’ (pen.) Rosucci, 54’ (pen.) and 70’ Sabatino, 66’ Caruso, 90’ Giugliano.