Italy 1-4 Belgium: Azzurri defeated again
Italy's starting XI l Photo credit:

Italy 1-4 Belgium: Azzurri defeated again

Italy fell for the second straight time in the Cyprus Cup, as they were hammered by Belgium.

Gianluca Lia

Italy's preparation ahead of next Summer's UEFA Women's Euro 2017 suffered another setback as they conceded another defeat at the Cyprus Cup, this time at the hands of Belgium 4-1.

Last Wednesday, Antonio Cabrini's side crossed swords with 10th-ranked North Korea and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat without ever reacting. 

The former Juventus will be worrying about his team's physical and tactical preparation as despite these are friendly internationals, they are still heavy losses for a side which aims to leave its mark on the biggest stage, next Summer. 

Key moments

At the Papadopolous Stadium of Larnaca, the Azzurri had forged ahead on nine minutes when Daniela Sabatino of Brescia scored.

Yet, a minute later, Wolfsburg's Tessa Wullaert levelled terms and from then onwards, it was one-way traffic as Belgium dominated in every aspect of the match. 

On the brink of half-time, Elien Van Wynendaele turned the tables while Maud Coutereels and Davina Philtjens sealed the win for the Belgians.

What needs to be fixed for Italy

Italy's concerns are clearly visible, especially at the back where in these two outings they lacked communication and often, the back-line was misplaced in crucial moments.

It is not a secret that the Azzurri are still a step behind from the powerhouses of women's football such as Germany and the United States, but performances like these do not underline the development that the same nation achieved in recent years. 

On the field, Italy need to gel as quickly as possible, becoming less fragile at the back while also opt for new offensive strategies in order to avoid being predictable while preserving the efficiency of skipper Melania Gabbiadini.

Meanwhile, these problems are also a consequence of the lack of competitive football in Italy.

Despite this year's Serie A is proving to be one of the most exciting in the last years, with Fiorentina battling Brescia for the ultimate prize, the early exits from the UEFA Women's Champions League do hinder Italy's development.

Italy will be involved in another tough match on Monday, when they entertain neighbours Switzerland.

Both nations locked horns against each other in the qualifications, with the Swiss emerging winners twice.