Italy lost a second straight game at the UEFA Women's 2017 Euros, with Germany prevailing 2-1 in their clash on Friday.
The game started off as many expected. Germany were looking to take the initiative and didn’t need long before they had their first real chance, as Babett Peter rose up to meet the ball after a corner, but her header was wide.
Italy showed that they were not just going to let Germany run the show, and quickly had a chance of their own as Valentina Cernoia had a shot on goal. However, it was straight at Almuth Schult in the German goal. Just a minute after it was Germany who, once again, went close as Linda Dallmann finished of a lovely attack, but she missed the target.
Germany saw most of the ball, creating most of the chances, but Italy were holding up well against the reigning Champions. However, a blunder from Italy’s keeper Laura Giuliani, saw Germany take the lead when the Italian keeper dropped the ball right into the path of Josephine Henning, who could easily make it 1-0. Germany continued to put on the pressure, and especially Sara Däbritz will rue a missed chance, as she had shot that hit the post.
Despite the German control of the game, the Italians clawed their way back, when they hit Germany on the counter. Barbara Bonansea, who was a bright spot the entire gme, drove the ball forward down the left, and served a perfect ball in to Ilaria Mauro, who made no mistake of the chance and scored the equalizer.
It was a bit back and forth for the last 15 minutes of the first half, with neither side really settling into a controlling role. Shortly before the half time, Italy sadly had to see their goal scorer Mauro, suffer an injury and she had to be replaced.
Germany edge it in second half
The second half kicked off with Germany almost immediately finding their second goal, as Mandy Islacker saw her shot hit the bottom of the post before it was cleared. Islacker started the half brightly and just minutes later forced Giuliani into a brilliant save after a header.
Germany came out for the second half with what looked like appoint to prove, and they were very much behind most of the action in the first ten minutes of the half, but Italy were constantly lurking for the counter and showed that they were not frightened by the initial German pressure. Germany were clearly disrupted by Italy’s resilience and found it hard to break them down and it was a side that seemed to lack a clear direction going forward.
However, they are still Germany and eventually found a way to break down Italy, as ball from Däbritz in behind the Italian defence found Anja Mittag who was taken down as she rounded the keeper, and the ref quickly awarded Germany a penalty. Peter made no mistake of the penalty and made it 2-1 to Germany after 67 minutes. Shortly after Italy made it increasingly harder for themselves when Elisa Bartoli received her second yellow and was sent to the stands.
The red card was a punch to the gut for Italy, but despite Germany being in control of the game and creating a number of chances, Italy showed that they were not done by any means and had a number of good chances towards the end, but they could not find the equaliser.
It was a resilient fight from Italy from start to finish, but Germany proved too strong and ended up winning 2-1. Germany now have four points in the group, the same amount as Sweden. Russia have three and Italy sit last with zero points.