Italy Women secure World Cup spot at the Franchi!

Italy Women secure World Cup spot at the Franchi!

09/06/2018 09:44

Italy Women have reached the World Cup for the first time in 20 years after a convincing 3-0 win against Portugal at the Stadio Franchi.

Having dominated their qualifying group, the Azzurre booked their place at next year's showpiece event with a match to spare – and did it on the same turf where Fiorentina women claimed the Scudetto crown in their debut campaign last term.

Seven Viola players were called up for the crunch qualifier – Greta Adami, Elisa Bartoli, Francesca Durante, Alia Guagni, Elena Linari, Ilaria Mauro and Alice Parisi – with Bartoli and Guagni starting the match in the full-back berths. Parisi made her first appearance for the national side since her injury layoff when she replaced Martina Rosucci in the first half while Mauro came on after the break.

Cheered on by a crowd of almost 7000, Milena Bertolini's side took control inside the first 15 minutes as Cristiana Girelli and Cecilia Salvai both scored from corners. Barbara Bonansea added the third – set up by the excellent Guagni – in stoppage time.

There were emotional scenes at the final whistle as a seventh win in as many matches meant the Azzurre could celebrate qualification for France 2019 - with Florence and Fiorentina playing their part in what is a historic victory for the Italian women's game.

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