France 2019: Italians get first win in 20 years

Mazino Dickson

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The ongoing 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France produced its first upset as Italy gained a lat late 2-1 over better fancied Australia.

A come from behind brace by woman-of-the-match Babara Bonasea gave the Italians their first win since 1999.

Australia were favourites coming into this match and it was no surprise when the Maltidas put the Azzurre on 22 minutes via a penalty after striker Sam Kerr was hauled down in the area.

Kerr put the ladies from down under ahead after her initial spot-kick was saved by Italian goalie Laura Giuliani.

Although the Italians saw less of the ball, they came out smoking in the second-half.

Fight back

Urged on by a large presence of Italian fans in the stadium, Babara Bonasea equalized after an uncharacteristic error from the experienced Clare Polkinhorne allowed the Italian steal possession before cutting inside and shooting right-footed into the bottom corner in the 56th minute.

The goal gave the Azzure the courage to counter the physicality of the Australians as they withstood a massive siege.

And it was a justly rewarded effort as Bonasea in the 95th minute popped up at the back post to head home with keeper Lydia Williams left stranded.

In typical Italian style, the entire bench rushed to the field at the final whistle to celebrate a memorable victory.

They will now fancy their chances against Brazil and debutants Jamaica.