Football Features

Key winners and losers as Italy thrash Jamaica to secure Women’s World Cup last-16 place

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:01, 14 June 2019

Italy confirmed their place in the last-16 of the Women’s World Cup with a 5-0 win over Jamaica.

Cristiana Girelli gave Italy the lead from the penalty spot after 12 minutes and doubled the advantage midway through the first half.

Girelli then completed her hat-trick just a minute after half-time, before Aurora Galli came off the bench to score twice and finish the rout.

But who were the winners and losers?

Winner: Cristiana Girelli

While Italy’s win over Australia in the first game was all about Barbara Bonansea, their victory against Jamaica was the Cristiana Girelli show. But it didn’t always look that way.

Ten minutes into the game, Italy were given the perfect opportunity to take the lead as Allyson Swaby was adjudged to have fouled Bonansea in the penalty area – after consultation with VAR.

Girelli stepped up to take the penalty, but saw her effort saved by Sydney Schneider, diving low to her left. However, the drama was not done there with referee Anna-Marie Keighley ordering a retake. Not fazed by the pressure, Girelli won the battle of the minds Schneider, placing the ball into the opposite corner and giving Italy the lead.

Italy and Girelli were buoyed by the goal and scored again midway through the first half, this time from a corner. As Manuela Giugliano’s set piece evaded defenders, Girelli was there to poke home with her thigh, becoming the second Italian to score a brace at this year’s World Cup.

But that was not enough for the forward. Looking to capitalise on a poor Jamaican defence, Girelli completed her hat-trick just after half-time, putting pressure on the goalkeeper to head home from a cross.

Loser: Sydney Schneider

On the losing side of the first-half penalty drama was Schneider, who thought she had produced a brilliant save to deny Girelli. It was very much a good save, with the 19-year-old diving early in anticipation, ensuring she covered the goal by the time Girelli’s effort had reached the goal line.

Not looking to dwell on her save, Schneider was already organising her defence for what would have been the resulting corner. But VAR had caught another Jamaican infringement.

As part of her efforts to anticipate Girelli’s shot, Schneider had moved off the line too quickly. At the time the shot was taken, the goalkeeper had both feet off the line. New laws which have come in this summer state a goalkeeper must have at least one foot on the line at the time a penalty is struck.

The penalty was ordered to be retaken, Schneider booked and then beaten with Girelli changing corners. And though there was little Schneider could do about Italy’s second, some fingers may be pointed for the third.

Giugliano sent a high cross into the box, which Schneider came to claim, but the goalkeeper missed her catch with Girelli heading in for the hat-trick.

It really was a day to forget for the teenager.

Winner: Aurora Galli

It can sometimes be hard to make an impact on a World Cup game coming on from the bench, though some have certainly written themselves into history despite not starting the game – see Mario Gotze.

But Aurora Galli wasted little time in making herself known at the 2019 World Cup, scoring twice in 15 minutes to complete Italy’s dominance.

Replacing Valentina Bergamaschi after 65 minutes as Italy looked to secure the win, the Galli took just six minutes to make her impact. And what an impact it was!

The 22-year-old picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and unleashed a rocket of an effort straight into the top left corner, out of the despairing Schneider’s reach – Galli’s first senior goal for Italy.

And there was still time for Galli to grab a second, racing onto the end of a defence splitting pass, rounding the goalkeeper and leathering the ball into the empty net, giving Milena Bertolini something to think about for the next game.

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Loser: Jamaica’s defending

It was always going to be tough for Jamaica at their first-ever World Cup, being given a group of experienced sides. But they certainly did themselves no favours with their defending.

Although the penalty decision against Italy could be argued by Jamaica, and thus the events for the opening goal, the Reggae Girlz can have no qualms about the second and third.

Perhaps still shaken by the first goal, Jamaica’s defence looked lost when Giugliano sent a corner into the box. It wasn’t the greatest of balls but managed to find its way through the Jamaican block, falling to Girelli.

And just moments later they could have conceded again from another corner, but the ball eventually hit the crossbar after a scramble. Jamaica looked at risk of conceding from pretty much every well-delivered set piece, and had Italy been a bit more accurate, they could have scored more than five.

Winner: Australia

Although Australia’s win over Brazil on Thursday was big in its own right, the nature of Jamaica’s defeat to Italy could have made it even more important.

After two games played in Group C, Australia sit level on points with second-placed Brazil on three points, but below due to inferior goal difference.

In the final round of fixtures, Brazil have the tricky task of group leaders Italy who have shown themselves capable of both grinding out a win and thumping a shaky opponent.

Looking to secure their place at the top of Group C, Italy will not go easy on Brazil, while Australia must fancy their chances against Jamaica – going by Friday’s performance.

Not only is a win possible for Australia, but next week’s match could give the Matildas an opportunity to bridge their goal difference gap against Brazil – should the Seleção beat Italy.

Loser: Khadija Shaw

As well as the problems at the back, it was a frustrating day for Khadija Shaw up front, no matter how much effort she put into leading the line.

The 22-year-old managed just two shots on goal against Italy, neither of which hit the target. Her evening was summed up midway through the second half, as she looked to capitalise on a rare mistake at the back for Italy.

Certainly confident due to her side’s lead, goalkeeper Laura Giuliani took a bit too much time on the ball inside her own area. Shaw managed the win a tackle but the ball bounced away from her, to teammate Chinyelu Asher. The 26-year-old struggled to get the ball out of her feet, sending a tame effort goalwards, with it eventually looping up in the air.

Dreaming of scoring Jamaica’s first ever World Cup goal, Shaw attempted an overhead kick but connected with Sara Gama’s mouth rather than the ball – earning herself a yellow card and ending the threat.

She did continue to push herself in hopes of getting Jamaica back into the game, but it just wasn’t to be, and Shaw did not get any reward for her fight.

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