Italy heartache after Euro 2017 exit

Match report: Italy knocked out of Euro 2017

Italy’s Euro 2017 campaign came to an end on Friday night as they crashed out after losing 2-1 to reigning champions Germany.

It was the current holders who got off to the brighter start as Dzsenifer Marozsán crossed for Babett Peter but she could only direct header wide.

Valentina Cernoia then nearly put Italy ahead on 5 minutes as her stinging effort was well kept out by German keeper Almuth Schult. Ilaria Mauro had another good opening to put the Azzuri ahead when she got on the end of a Barbara Bonansea cross but she headed over the bar.

However it was Germany who took the lead inside 19 minutes as Josephine Henning headed into the net following a set piece. It could have been two minutes later as Anja Mittag turned the Italy defence before her shot was very well saved by Laura Giuliani in the Italy goal.

The woodwork would then come to Italy’s rescue after Linda Dallmann had played in Sara Däbritz before she cracked her shot off the post. Italy were then to grab a shock equaliser after Barbara Bonansea crossed for Ilaria Mauro after a quick break and she made no mistake firing in a low left footed drive.

Germany could then have been immediately back ahead through Marozsán but her shot from outside the box was once again very well dealt with by Giuliani in the Italian goal. It was all German pressure at this point Dallmann coming close on 36 minutes after she was played through by Mandy Islacker before she dragged her effort wide.

Leonie Maier had another great opening for the Germans after Marozsán whipped in another delightful ball but she flicked her effort wide of goal. Isabel Kerschowski was next to test her luck on 42 minutes as she hit a strike from long range but fired it just over the top.

Marozsán was dictating the tempo of the match and on the stroke of the break she whipped in another cross this time to Peter but she arrowed a header over. Germany started the second half the same way as they ended the first on top as Islacker hit the post on 47 minutes after she was put through by Maier.

Islacker was involved in the action once again as her header was well saved by Giuliani diving to her right. Giuliani was called into action two minutes later as she made a fantastic low save from a drilled In Marozsán shot.

Germany were then awarded a penalty on 65 minutes after Giuliani took out Mittag up stepped Peter and she converted it low into the bottom right hand corner. Italy were then reduced to ten on 69 minutes as Elisa Bartoli was dismissed for a second yellow card.

This allowed Germany to find more gaps in midfield and they nearly wrapped the game up as Kristin Demann fired a shot just wide from outside the box. Italy however were not going to give up and they had a great chance when Cristiana Girelli was denied by a good save by Schult.

Schult was then called into action late on as she made a fine low save from Barbara Bonansea’s powerful effort from close range .

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