Euro qualifying. Italy win their opening match against Poland. Salvatore: “It’s only the first step”

Euro qualifying. Italy win their opening match against Poland. Salvatore:

Italy Women’s National Futsal Team made a strong start in Leganes, Spain as they beat Poland in their opening Euro qualifying match. Francesca Salvatore’s players dominated the match from the very beginning and eventually ran out 6-1 winners after being 3-1 up following the first period. “The girls played without fear – said Italy’s coach – and did what they had to do while playing to their maximum.”

Roberta Giuliano struck from inside the opponent’s area as the three-minute mark approached to give Italy an early lead. Poland managed to draw level after six minutes thanks to a goal from Wlodarczyk, but their revival only proved to be temporary as Federica Belli scored from outside the area after 14 minutes to restore the Azzurre’s lead. Borges de Silva added to Italy’s goal tally before the end of the first period, meaning Italy went into the break 3-1 ahead.

The girls didn’t rest on their laurels in the second period and extended their lead as Aida Xhanxho tucked away the rebound after her penalty had been saved by Polish goalkeeper Dabek. Shortly afterwards, Borge de Silva beat two Polish players and scored to make it 5 for the Azzurre after 17 minutes of the second period. Captain Ersilia D’Incesco also got on the scoresheet seconds before full-time with a shot from the edge of the box to make the final score 6-1.

Francesca Salvatore’s satisfaction with the performance was reflected in her post-match comments: “We attacked and defended well, but this is just the first step. Tomorrow we have to face Romania and we can’t let our concentration levels drop because it’s not over yet.”

Captain Azzurro Ersilia D'Incesco was thrilled: "I got goose bumps during the national anthem such was the emotion of the occasion. Our mental approach to the game was spot-on. We went onto the pitch determined and we did exactly what Francesca had asked us to do, with the result being a consequence of this.” 

Squad list:

Goalkeepers: Valentina Margarito (Real Statte), Maria Fontana Mascia;
Outfield players: Aida Xhaxho (Lazio), Arianna Pomposelli (Olimpus Roma), Bruna Borges (Montesilvano), Ersilia D’Incecco (Montesilvano), Sofia Luciani (Città di Falconara), Federica Belli (Kick Off), Ludovica Coppari, , Roberta Giuliano, Nicoletta Mansueto (Real Statte), Marcella Violi (Real Statte).

Staff – Head Coach: Francesca Salvatore; Technical Collaborator: Cinzia Benvenuti; Secretary: Fabrizio Del Principe; Fitness Coach: Fabrizio Pallocchia; Goalkeeping Coach: Fabrizio Bombelli; Doctors: Giuseppe Maccauro and Andrea Gattelli; Physiotherapist: Francesco Marcellino.
Angelica Di Biase (Kick Off) and Jessica Troiano (Real Grisignano Calcio) are with the squad and can replace a player only in the event of an injury that prevents the said player from playing.

*Women’s futsal European Championship qualifying groups (main round)

Group 1: Spain (hosts), Italy, Romania, Poland
Group 2: Russia, Slovenia, Croatia (hosts), Sweden
Group 3: Kazakhstan, Ukraine (hosts), Hungary, Belarus
Group 4: Portugal (hosts), Serbia, Czech Republic, Finland
*The four group winners progress to February's knockout finals

Group 1 fixtures (all times CEST)

First matchday (12 September)
16:00: ITALY 6-1 Poland
18.30: Spain-Romania

Second matchday (13 September)
18:00: Romania-ITALY
20:30: Spain-Poland

Third matchday (15 September)
16:30: Poland-Romania
19:00: Spain-ITALY

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