Women's World Cup - Group C
AustraliaAustralia1ItalyItaly2

Australia 1-2 Italy: Bonansea scores twice as Italy fight back to clinch late victory

By Tom GarryBBC Sport in Valenciennes

Italy fought back from a goal down to beat Australia in stoppage time and pull off a big shock at the end of the best contest of the Women's World Cup.

Juventus star Barbara Bonansea struck both goals in the second half for the Italians, who have qualified for the finals for the first time in 20 years, winning it from close range in the fifth minute of added time.

Australia captain Sam Kerr had earlier given the Group C favourites a first-half lead as she tucked in the rebound after her penalty was saved.

Brazil later beat Jamaica 3-0 in Grenoble to top the group on goal difference.

Italy celebrated joyously at the full-time whistle in France's north-eastern city of Valenciennes, having not played in a match at the World Cup finals since being eliminated in the group stage in 1999.

The Azzurri are ranked 15th in the world, nine places below Australia, who many commentators have tipped to have a strong chance of going all the way to the final in Lyon on 7 July.

"It is wonderful. The expectation has risen around the Italian national team and to crown this anticipation with a victory is superb," said Italy boss Milena Bertolini.

"It's a beautiful feeling. These are women with a lot of technical qualities and they play really well.

"When it comes to teamwork, they are truly the strongest team at this tournament and that's what will make the difference - team spirit. It made the difference today. We suffered a lot, but the Italian team spirit came through."

Kerr, who is the all-time record goalscorer in both the United States and Australia's top professional leagues, opened the scoring as she tucked in the rebound when her first-half penalty was saved, after she was brought down by Italy skipper Sara Gama.

It was her first goal at the World Cup finals in her ninth appearance over three tournaments, and she celebrated in a similar style to former Everton star Tim Cahill, the Australia men's team legend, as she playfully punched the corner flag.

Italy had two goals correctly ruled out for offside - one of them extremely narrowly - either side of Bonansea's equaliser, a goal the Italians were gifted.

A defensive mistake from Australia centre-back Clare Polkinghorne handed possession to Italy before Bonansea took full advantage, weaving in to the penalty area before getting past Alanna Kennedy and slotting home.

Barbara Bonansea heads in a late winning goal for Italy against Australia
Bonansea's goal was timed at 94:39 and was the latest winning goal scored in normal time of a Women's World Cup

Australia's Kennedy then headed just wide at the far post before later nearly turning in to her own net, and Gama did well to block from Kerr in second-half stoppage time as Australia pushed for a winner. However, moments later Bonansea snatched the points at the other end.

The Matildas had lost both of the final two warm-up games, conceding eight goals against a combination of the holders, the United States, and the European champions, the Netherlands and they will need to bounce back quickly from this defeat. They face Brazil in Montpellier on Thursday before meeting Jamaica in Grenoble on 18 June.

Australia head coach Ante Milicic, who is only on a short-term contract for the World Cup, said: "We need to quickly regroup and focus on the Brazil game. We created enough chances to win the game but at the crucial times we didn't capitalise on our possession.

"When we played our football we looked decent, but it was only in patches. Unfortunately we were undone by a scenario where our shape wasn't what it needed to be. We're very disappointed."

Italy face the Jamaicans in Reims on Friday, before a potentially decisive match against Brazil the following Tuesday, back in Valenciennes.

Two teams will qualify automatically from each group and progress to the last 16, as well as the three best third-placed sides from the six groups of four.

Line-ups

Australia

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Williams
  • 21Carpenter
  • 4Polkinghorne
  • 14Kennedy
  • 7Catley
  • 10van Egmond
  • 16RasoSubstituted forGorryat 69'minutes
  • 9Foord
  • 13YallopSubstituted forKellond-Knightat 83'minutes
  • 6LogarzoSubstituted forDe Vannaat 61'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 20Kerr

Substitutes

  • 2Simon
  • 3Luik
  • 5Roestbakken
  • 8Kellond-Knight
  • 11De Vanna
  • 12Micah
  • 15Gielnik
  • 18Arnold
  • 19Gorry
  • 22Harrison
  • 23Allen

Italy

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 1Giuliani
  • 2BergamaschiSubstituted forGiacintiat 77'minutes
  • 3GamaBooked at 21mins
  • 5Linari
  • 7Guagni
  • 23Giugliano
  • 4GalliSubstituted forBartoliat 45'minutes
  • 21CernoiaBooked at 69mins
  • 10GirelliBooked at 63mins
  • 11Bonansea
  • 18MauroSubstituted forSabatinoat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Rosucci
  • 8Parisi
  • 9Sabatino
  • 12Marchitelli
  • 13Bartoli
  • 14Tarenzi
  • 15Serturini
  • 16Fusetti
  • 17Boattin
  • 19Giacinti
  • 20Tucceri Cimini
  • 22Pipitone
Referee:
Melissa Borjas
Attendance:
15,380

Match Stats

Home TeamAustraliaAway TeamItaly
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home16
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home20
Away19

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Australia 1, Italy 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Australia 1, Italy 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Australia. Conceded by Barbara Bonansea.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Australia. Conceded by Elisa Bartoli.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Australia 1, Italy 2. Barbara Bonansea (Italy) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Valentina Cernoia with a cross following a set piece situation.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Stephanie Catley (Australia).

  7. Post update

    Valentina Giacinti (Italy) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Stephanie Catley (Australia).

  9. Post update

    Valentina Giacinti (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Caitlin Foord (Australia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Sara Gama (Italy).

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Kerr (Australia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ellie Carpenter.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Katrina Gorry (Australia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Caitlin Foord with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Clare Polkinghorne (Australia) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Katrina Gorry with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Australia. Conceded by Elisa Bartoli.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Italy. Valentina Giacinti tries a through ball, but Daniela Sabatino is caught offside.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Valentina Giacinti (Italy) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Elise Kellond-Knight (Australia) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  19. Post update

    Elise Kellond-Knight (Australia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Cristiana Girelli (Italy).

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France11004043
2Norway11003033
3Nigeria100103-30
4South Korea100104-40

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain11003123
2Germany11001013
3China100101-10
4South Africa100113-20

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil11003033
2Italy11002113
3Australia100112-10
4Jamaica100103-30

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England11002113
2Argentina00000000
3Japan00000000
4Scotland100112-10

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Cameroon00000000
2Canada00000000
3Netherlands00000000
4New Zealand00000000

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chile00000000
2Sweden00000000
3Thailand00000000
4USA00000000
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