Italy make Women's World Cup history after beating China and reaching quarters

They will fancy their chances after a dream-like run in France that saw them win Tuesday's last 16 clash in Montpellier after topping a group containing Brazil and Australia.

Published: 26th June 2019 12:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2019 12:02 AM   |  A+A-

Italian players celebrate

Italian players celebrate after their historic win | AP

By AFP

MONTPELLIER: Italy reached the Women's World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in nearly three decades after beating China 2-0 in Montpellier on Tuesday.

A 15th-minute tap in from Valentina Giacinti and substitute Aurora Galli's fierce drive three minutes after the break saw Milena Bertolini's side see off a committed Chinese side and match their best run in the competition back in 1991.

The Italians will now face either the Netherlands or Japan, who play later on Tuesday, in Valenciennes on Saturday for a shot at their first ever appearance in the last four.

"It's a great result after a difficult match. Today wasn't a display of beautiful football but the girls gave everything and we were clinical," said Bertolini to TV station Rai.

"To reach the quarter-finals is hugely satisfying."

They will fancy their chances after a dream-like run in France that saw them win Tuesday's last 16 clash in Montpellier after topping a group containing Marta's Brazil and pre-tournament dark horses Australia.

Giancinti started the move that gave Italy the lead after already having one effort ruled out for offside, feeding Barbara Bonansea on the edge of the box before the Juventus attacker slipped in Elisa Bartoli.

Roma defender Bartoli's low effort was eventually tapped by Giacinti following Peng Shimeng's smart save and indecision from the Chinese defence.

The Italians had chances to extend their lead through Giacinti and her AC Milan teammate Valentina Bergamaschi, who forced a superb save from Peng, but China pinned them back as the half wore on.

However they effectively sealed their place in the semi-finals almost immediately after the restart through Galli, who collected Alia Guagni's pass and composed herself before drilling a low shot past Peng.

From there, outsiders Italy held off a determined China side with typically dogged defending and some solid goalkeeping from Laura Guliani to push them to equal their best-ever World Cup performance back in the first edition of the tournament.

Stay up to date on all the latest Football news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp