Cristiana Girelli’s hat-trick and Aurora Galli’s stunning strike helped Italy book their place in the World Cup last 16 with victory over Jamaica.
Juventus’ Girelli made it 1-0 with a retaken penalty, after goalkeeper Sydney Schneider had saved the initial spot-kick but was then punished for prematurely moving off her line.
Girelli grabbed her second from close range and headed in Italy’s third.
Substitute Galli added two more with a thunderous shot and composed finish.
Those late goals came after a period of pressure from the lowest-ranked team in the competition, although their best effort came in the first half when Mireya Grey’s 20-yard strike flew two feet wide.
As for the Azzurre, they march on with both Girelli and fellow Juve forward Barbara Bonansea, who scored twice in the 2-1 win over Australia, in sparkling form.
Bonansea won the first-half penalty after a VAR check declared Allyson Swaby’s tackle was illegal. Girelli’s strike was saved but referee Anna-Marie Keighley ordered a retake and booked Schneider for moving off her line.
Girelli scored her second with an effort that came off her thigh after Jamaica’s defence went to sleep at a corner. And she completed her hat-trick shortly after the restart when she beat Schneider to a right-wing cross.
Galli, who was relegated to the bench for this game, produced the goal of the contest six minutes after coming with an unstoppable drive from 25 yards. The Juventus player then kept her cool as she took a through-ball around Schneider to slot in Italy’s fifth.
Italy record joint-biggest WWC win – the stats
- Girelli became the second Italian player to score a Women’s World Cup hat-trick, after Carolina Morace in 1991 against Chinese Taipei, which was the first hat-trick scored in the competition.
- Italy registered their joint-biggest win at the Women’s World Cup, also winning 5-0 against Chinese Taipei in 1991 in their first game at the tournament.
- Jamaica became only the third team in Women’s World Cup history to have seen a hat-trick scored against them in consecutive matches (Cristiane for Brazil, Girelli for Italy), after Mexico in 1999 and Ecuador in 2015.
- Jamaica named the youngest starting XI average age at the 2019 Women’s World Cup so far (22 years, 151 days).
- Girelli’s penalty for Italy after 12 minutes was their earliest Women’s World Cup goal and their first ever goal via a penalty.
- Jamaica became the second team to give away a penalty in each of their two games at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, after Scotland.
- Galli became the first Italian player to score in the Women’s World Cup as a substitute since Rita Guarino in November 1991 against Norway, with that goal scored five years and 19 days before Galli was born.
Article courtesy of BBC Sport