0-1, min. 8, Tucceri Cimini. 0-2, min.30 own goal Colesnicenco. 1-2, min. 43, Toma. 1-3, min. 76, Giacinti.
2019 Women’s World Cup Qualification (UEFA) – Group 6: Italy defeat Moldova to edge closer towards qualification
Italy's starting XI against Moldova. Photo c/o Vanu Caftanat (Football Moldovian Federation)

2019 Women’s World Cup Qualification (UEFA) – Group 6: Italy defeat Moldova to edge closer towards qualification

Bertolini's team earned three valuable points at Moldova to edge closer towards a spot in France 2019.

Gianluca Lia

Italy earned their fifth successive win in as many games played in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifications after chalking up an important win against Moldova, by three goals to one. 

On an artificial turf, Italy forged ahead early in the game before Moldova, who are still searching for their first point in this qualification campaign, managed to level terms through an own goal.

Nonetheless, the Italians found a way to wrap up the win with two goals as they now prepare to face Belgium, at home. 

On the brink of half-time

Coach Milena Bertolini rested the likes of  Sara Gama, Alia Guagni and Aurora Galli as they are all a yellow card away from being suspended and given they face second-placed Belgium next, it made more sense to leave them out of action against Moldova.

Laura Giuliani was Italy's custodian with Cecilia Salvai and Elena Linari forming the central pair while Linda Tucceri Cimini and Elisa Bartoli were deployed as fullbacks.

Juventus' busy midfielder, Martina Rosucci was entrusted with the midfield keys alongside promising Eleonora Goldoni and Greta Adami. Valentina Giacinti, Cristiana Girelli and goal machine Barbara Bonansea formed the offensive line. 

Italy drew first blood in the eighth minute when Tucceri Cimini's inswinging corner deceived Moldova's goalkeeper and hit the base of the net. The Italians continued to pile pressure on their opponents and they made their pressure count through a Nadejda Colesnicenco own goal to open a two-goal lead.

Nonetheless, Moldova pulled a goal back after 43 minutes through Anastasia Toma - just their second in five qualification games - keeping their hopes alive for a famous comeback in the second half. 

Completing formalities

After the change of ends, Italy remained the better team on the pitch. Bertolini started to introduce some new faces on the field in order to have fresher legs which put the result the bed.

They did so past the half-hour mark of the second half when Manuela Giugliano struck a sublime freekick which was temporarily blocked by Moldova's number 1 before Giacinti netted into an empty net from close-range.

Moldova attempted a late rally but the Italians were already dry and home, thinking about their next fixture against Belgium.