Monday evening Italy ladies has been eliminated In the first round of the European Football Championship in England. She did not come to win them, but it was a potential surprise and with a realistic goal: to return to the quarter-finals, which she has not participated in since 2013 and which she joined at the World Cup three years ago.
Everything went well, from the first minutes of the first match against France, which, although favored and superior, was facilitated in victory by an unprepared and defenseless Italy. The effect at first, particularly with Five goals received In the first half – no team in European history has suffered so much in just 45 minutes – more than anything else marked the short journey they made in the tournament, the players themselves said after Monday night’s elimination.
“We knew that the European Championship would be a difficult tournament and that this group would be balanced, except for France. “The first match prepared us from the point of view of calm,” said technical commissioner Melina Bertolini after the decisive defeat against Belgium. Goalkeeper Laura Giuliani continued, “My biggest regret is not giving everything.”
From the first 5-1, everything went uphill and the team was no longer able to recover, even against opponents on hand like Iceland and Belgium. Thus, he finished his group without a win – as it has not happened since 2005 – after two defeats and a draw. Of these four teams, he had the worst defense, conceding 7 goals to only 2 facts.
Bertolini tried to straighten out the team by changing the formation in all three matches he played, but the result did not change and indeed, the same trend was repeated over and over again. In the early days, Italy struggled to get into the match, they were slow in their movements and always made many technical mistakes, and their opponents suffered more than they should. Six of the seven goals scored came in the early stages, while Belgium’s goal in the second half was initially scored.
The reactions came only in unfavorable situations and often had the effect of propelling the team forward: this imbalance resulted in France conceding three goals in the seven minutes before the break, when there were already two late goals. In the second half against Iceland, the spaces given to the defense in the second half cost only goals due to the inaccuracy and fatigue of the opponents. Against Belgium, Italy’s control of the match was more evident after the flaw, but between the tension and exhaustion there was a lack of precision and clarity in the plays, often confusing, rushed and ending the wrong way.
There was often talk during the tournament about the fatigue and physical superiority of the opponent, but the data collected by the national team staff does not say that, as Bertolini explained after the last match and as some players also repeated: on the contrary. Italy would have covered the same distances on the field as their opponents, if not more. However, it is true that Juventus’ players – 9 out of 23 and almost all of the owners – came from the longest season ever played, with 41 official matches between league and cup: a frequency they are not used to.
The lack of contribution of some of them affected significantly, starting with goals: the only two goals were scored by Valentina Bergamaschi and Martina Piemonte, winger and reserve striker, both from Milan. Even a player with usually consistent performances like Sarah Gama – captain of Juventus and the national team – found herself in great difficulty, to the point that she was substituted in defense in the last game, also due to persistent physical problems.
On the other hand, midfielder Valentina Cernoia, who is one of the most experienced and irreplaceable in terms of quality, vision of the game and technical characteristics (and one of the few left-handers and the best at set-pieces), was absent from the positive of the Corona virus. A few hours after her debut with France. Cernoia could have been a steady start, but was only able to debut in the last minutes against Belgium.
In a tournament where everything is decided in a few matches and where there is not a lot of time to solve problems, a first-round elimination can be counted on. But in this case the disappointment is palpable, also due to the expectations surrounding the national team and the Italian women’s movement in general, whose growth was confirmed with the recent transition to professionalism in the Serie A championship.” Normal in the World Cup, we went beyond our means, the World Cup in the group stage is easier than it was in the European Championship. But I know the value of this team and I think we could have done more.” He said Bertolini.
There were no official statements or comments from the FIGC, whose president Gabriel Gravina was not in England due to other unspecified commitments. Absence is also noted, because at the end of the tournaments, the federal managers usually immediately intervene to make a brief point about the situation and, if necessary, to renew confidence in the project or in the technical team, in particular this one, which is associated with the Federation until next year.
But after the exit from the European Championship, Italy will soon have the opportunity to make up for it, given that in September there will be the last two qualifiers for the next World Cup, in which they occupy first place in their group with two groups. Points superior to the Swiss. On September 2 and 6, she will play against Moldova and Romania: you just need to maintain their advantage in the standings to qualify directly for the final round scheduled for 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.
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