Late goal gives Italy a 1-0 win over Argentina

italy 1-0 argentina

Auckland, The Gulf Observer: Girelli became the first Italian to score in two Women’s World Cups with her goal in the 87th minute that gave Italy a 1-0 win in its tournament opener against Argentina.

Girelli came into the match as a substitute in the 83rd minute. Italy put the ball in the back of the net twice in the opening half but both times were offside, before Girelli’s breakthrough header,The AP reported.

The Italians have never dropped an opening match at the World Cup.

“We will try to leave this game behind us, learn from what happened, and continue reinforcing the positive. Now we need to clear our minds, look at what comes next and take on the group,” Argentina forward Estefania Banini said.

Italy has had more success on the big stage, advancing to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2019. The Italians were stopped by the Netherlands.

Argentina’s women returned to the World Cup four years ago in France after a 12-year absence and had a tough time but couldn’t collect enough points to advance out of the group.

Arianna Caruso, who plays professionally for Juventus, appeared to score from distance in the 15th minute but Italy was quickly ruled offside.

The 23-year old was the youngest woman to reach 100 appearances with Juventus.

Italy was offside again on Valentina Giacinti’s attempted goal late in the half.

Italy goalkeeper Lara Esponda held Argentina at bay on a dangerous free kick in the 73rd.

Italy started 16-year-old Giulia Dragoni at midfield is the second-youngest European to play at the tournament.

She was replaced by Girelli, at 33 the oldest player in the Azzurre squad, in the 83rd minute. Girelli’s goal was the 54th of her international career.

Girelli, changed the tone of the match almost immediately when she subbed in.

“It was amazing, because, yes, we were looking for the goal for all the second half. We were trying. I think we played a good match in the second half and fortunately Cristiana put her head on the ball and scored,” said Italy’s Captain Barbara Bonansea.