Italy 5-0 Jamaica: Cristiana Girelli fires Italy into the last 16
Cristiana Girelli (left) reacts after scoring for Italy against Jamaica.

Italy 5-0 Jamaica: Cristiana Girelli fires Italy into the last 16

Gli Azzurre hit past five the Caribbean side to clinch last 16 berth 

Gianluca Lia

Italy picked from where they left off against Australia as they secured a comfortable victory over Jamaica to follow France and Germany into the next round of the Women's World Cup.

Story of the game

In Reims, Italy needed to collect the three points against Jamaica after Australia came from behind to defeat Brazil and join both the Italians and the Brazilians on three points.

An early penalty, which had to be retaken twice due to a VAR ruling, propelled Milena Bertolini's team to a 5-0 win highlighting the quality that the European side boasts. 

Juventus' forward Cristiana Girelli netted a hat-trick as Jennifer Hermoso and Alex Morgan did in this World Cup while fullback Aurora Galli, also on the books of the Bianconere grabbed a fantastic brace. 

In their final game against Brazil, Italy will need at least a point to top Group C.

From the game against the Aussies, Italy coach Bertolini deployed Roma captain Elisa Bartoli from the start while Daniela Sabatino replaced Ilaria Mauro upfront. 

Jamaica, on their part, also made some changes in his 4-4-2 with Solaun, Campbell, Adamolekun and Grey all given the nod from the start with Khadija Shaw the main threat up front. 

Italy were immediately handed the opportunity to open the score when on minute nine, they were awarded a penalty after Allyson Swaby tripped Barbara Bonansea inside the eighteen.

Girelli took charge from the spot but saw her penalty saved by Schneider before the referee ordered a retake after Jamaica's no.1 moved out of her goal line - which is considered a foul under the new IFAB rules. This time, the former Brescia forward was not to be denied as she opened her World Cup account. 

While Jamaica were still somewhat vivid in the encounter, Italy managed to double the score through another Girelli goal who capitalised on a corner kick that caught the Jamaicans defensive line unprepared. 

Moments later, Sabatino almost found a third for Italy but her effort struck the woodwork. However, Italy did extend their lead through Girelli who sealed her hat-trick with an early goal after the break to put the game to bed. 

Bertolini inserted Lisa Boattin and Galli into the field and the latter stamped her mark with a fantastic shot from outside the area to make it 4-0. The Juventus player, then, was at the end of the fifth goal when she rounded past Jamaica's goalkeeper to slot the ball into an empty net. 

Takeaways from the game 

From a Jamaica stand, a 5-0 defeat is always disappointing but their first-half display was not that dismal as they went down to a penalty which their goalkeeper had blocked before the referee ordered a retake.

On the other hand, two main points should be highlighted in relation to Italy's victory.

First, Girelli has become the second Italian player to score three goals in a Women's World Cup after icon Carolina Morace had managed to do so in the 1999 edition, against Taipei.

Second, Italy's two victories so far underline the importance of proper investment in this game. All goals have been scored by Juventus players and this highlights the effectiveness of having players based in well-structured and organised clubs that can enable these women to train on a professional basis.