The new coach wins 1-0 on his debut. A victorious left-footer from Arianna Caruso was enough for the Italians. Sweden arrives on Tuesday
Positive energy that was needed: Andrea Soncin’s new Italy starts successfully in the Nations League and travels to Switzerland against the most playable opponent in the group (who, however, reached the round of 16 at the World Cup). In the middle of the second half, the precise left foot of Arianna Caruso, a Juventus midfielder who is a striker in the national team (13 goals, one in every three games played), was decisive. The new coach only had four days of training in Coverciano, not enough to speak about his recognizable influence. At the same time, however, he managed to put together an orderly and courageous Italy that always tried to win the ball in the opponent’s half of the field. To be honest, they were also lucky: in the final attack, Switzerland even hit a double post with the unleashed Pilgrim (complete with a dancing ball on the goal line). A thrill that didn’t detract from an evening of joy as the credits rolled to a decidedly unforgettable summer. Soncin, meanwhile, immediately took two positive steps: for the sixth time in a row, Italy won their first game under a new coach, but that success also came at the same stadium where Roberto Mancini’s Italian adventure began. The 2018 European champion coach made his debut in blue against Saudi Arabia at the Arena St. Gallen.
The front 11 of the new era is a fluid 4-4-2, with three key changes compared to the World Cup: Laura Giuliani is back in goal, but most importantly two great players who were left out of Milena Bertolini’s recent selection are back in the Goal starting lineup. In fact, there is space for the Everton duo: Martina Piemonte pairs up front with Giacinti, while Aurora Galli (regular midfielder) plays the tactical winger on the left, allowing the development into a 4-3-3 when Cantore comes from the On the other side, the attackers play along. Starting from the bench are young Dragoni and Beccari as well as veterans Girelli and Gama, the latter back in the group after the summer’s controversies.
Together with deputy Viviana Schiavi, Soncin asked her players to run forward – without overdoing it, because it is not a moment of the season when the legs are spinning – and to give width, facing two lines that always are tight. The goal comes just like that, with a cross from Cantore from the right that triggers a collision in the Swiss 16-meter area: In the confusion situation, Caruso is very cool when it comes to aiming with a left-footed shot that gives Peng no chance . It’s the 64th minute and Italy has the game in hand after two thirds of the game went without much emotion. Physiologically speaking, it is also the moment when suffering increases. Despite the double whammy of Pilgrim and a near-miss between Linari and Giuliani, the ability to grit one’s teeth in the final siege turns into joy. The more demanding Swedes arrive in Castel di Sangro on Tuesday and have now been beaten by Spain (3:2). The world champions prove to be fierce on the field and are not distracted by everything that comes their way outside.
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