Le Azzure progress to the quarter-finals of the World Cup following a 2-0 victory over China in Montpellier. Goals from Aurora Galli and Valentina Giacinti were enough to see Le Azzure through to the next round.
It didn’t take long for Italy to show their class as less than ten minutes in, Giacinti had the ball in the back of the net. however, replays showed that she was marginally offside in the build up and it was chalked off.
It didn’t matter too much though as five minutes later, Giacinti hit the net once again – only this time there was no offside. Italy capitalised on some very lazy defending from China as Barbara Bonansea played a lovely ball into Elise Bartoli and caught Han Peng sleeping. Peng Shinmeng managed to make a good save from the resulting effort but the rebound fell to Giacinti who graciously accepted the gift to put her side into the lead.
Le Azzure with comfortable win
Despite some good possession and play from China, they couldn’t find a way through the Italian defence. They ended up having a very decent 19 shots at goal during the game. However, with only six of them managing to find the target, China will need to work on their finishing before they play again later in the year.
Even after all their shots and 63% percent of possession, the next goal went against China as Aurora Galli pretty much wrapped the game up for her side. She took the ball into her control around 25 yards out before unleashing a powerful effort that shot past the keeper like a bullet and into the bottom corner. That was her third goal of the tournament with all three coming as a substitute – no other play in the tournament has managed more than one from the bench.
After that, Italy were pretty comfortable and for once, there were no controversial VAR decisions overshadowing the game. It was nice to see a hotly contested match between two decent footballing sides without any other factors coming in to play.
Italy will have a close eye on the next game this evening as Netherlands take on Japan to decide who will play Milena Bertolini’s side in the final quarter-final.