The Women’s National Team won their fifth straight match in qualifying 3-1 away at Moldova in the qualification group for the 2019 World Cup in France. On the artificial surface at the Vadlu lui Voda centre, the Azzurre took the lead early, doubled the lead after 30 minutes before conceding the first goal of the qualification campaign after a moment of disattention. A Valentina Giacinti goal then finished things off in the second half.
Ahead of Tuesday’s match with Belgium, Milena Bertolini rested Gama, Guagni and Galli who were a booking away from suspension. In front of Giuliani, Salvai, Linari were the centre-backs, Tucceri Cimini was on the right with Bartoli on the left. Martina Rosucci was in the heart of midfield alongside Goldoni and Adami with a front three of Giacinti, Bonansea and Girelli.
The Azzurre took control straight away with Moldova pegged back in their half and reduced to playing long balls to escape from Italy’s pressing. The match was stop-start with a number of fouls but Italy took the lead eight minutes in with Linda Tucceri Cimini scoring her first Italy goal as she caught Munteanu out straight from a corner. Italy’s domination was interrupted in the 17th minute by a Moldova counterattack with Toma hitting the bar from range. After Colesnicenco scored an own goal 30 minutes in, the Azzurre conceded their first goal of the qualification campaign. On 43 minutes, Toma made the most of some indecision from a corner to beat Giuiani and make it 2-1.
It was the same story in the second half with Italy in control. Bertolini took off Bonansea for Alborghetti, Mauro then replaced Girelli and Giugliano took the place of Rosucci. Munteanu saved from Goldoni and Mauro but the goal came in the 76th minute. Following a Giugliano free kick the ball fell to Giacinti who fired home with a great volley. The Azzurre won 3-1 to stay top of the group before next Tuesday’s match against Belgium in Ferrara at 18:00 CEST win what will be a crucial qualifier.
“The most important thing is that we brought the three points home,” Bertolini. “I wasn’t just saying it for the sake it of it when I said that this was our hardest game. The approach was too bland, there was a certain lack of competitiveness and their goal was a symbol of this as that ball would have been won with more determination. We also allowed some counterattacks and you couldn’t see the big technical difference between the two teams today. For a few days, people have been speaking about the Belgium match and perhaps that had an impact.”
MOLDOVA 1-3 ITALY
Goals: 8’Tucceri Cimini, 30’ autorete Colesnicenco, 43’ Toma, 76’ Giacinti
Moldova: Munteanu, Cerescu, Prisacari (71’ Cusinova), Miron, Caraman (cap), Andone (76’ Musteata), Toma (85’ Topal), Tabur, Chiper, Mitul, Colesnicenco. Bench: Panova, Sivolobova, Vasilica, Petelca. Coach: Alina Stetenco.
Italy: Giuliani, Bartoli, Linari, Salvai, Tucceri Cimini, Rosucci (70’ Giugliano), Goldoni, Adami, Bonansea (50’ Alborghetti), Giacinti, Girelli (cap) (59’Mauro). Bench: Marchitelli, Fusetti, Sabatino, Glionna. Coach: Milena Bertolini.
Referee: Shona Shukrula (Ned). Assistants: Franca Overtoom (Ned), Fijke Hoogendijk (Ned). Fourth Official: Natalia Ceban (Mda).
Table: ITALY 15 points (5 matches played), Belgium 9 (3), Portugal 3 (3), Romania 3 (4), Moldova 0 (5).
Photo:Vanu Caftanat (Football Moldovian Federation)