Cosenza performs well, the Under 17 women’s football team draws with Scotland and qualifies for the next phase of the European Championships


By John

Mission accomplished. The National Under 17 Women’s team, with a 2-2 draw against Scotland, enters Round 2 of qualifying for the European Championship. It does so by finishing in second place in Group A3 behind France: four points in three matches, three more than in the first phase of last year. An unforgettable week ends in Cosenza with a highly prestigious result, which allows Jacopo Leandri’s girls to guarantee a good placement in view of the draw (scheduled for December) for the second phase. Again on target, as against Slovenia, were Rosanna Ventriglia (Roma) and Eleonora Ferraresi (Juventus), who with the fourth penalty kick converted in three matches gave an equalizer to an Italy supported throughout the week by the Calabrian public. Also ahead are European champions France (with full points) and Scotland, third.

“We led the match far and wide, but we were punished twice in seven minutes, and we will have to work on this in view of Round 2 – Leandri’s analysis -. These matches, however, leave many certainties: we have a a team that never gives up, always honors the tricolor and has a future. We arrive at the second phase as runners-up, therefore in the second pot of the draw: we have gained a position, now it will be up to us to do our part.” Italy bids farewell to Cosenza: “We will carry the city and its people in our hearts. Thanks to all those who have supported us in these days”.

Leandri, without Pieri suspended, moved Ferraresi back to the line of the midfielders – as happened during the ongoing match against France, putting Ventriglia back in front. There is also a change in defense, with Pomati replacing Di Girolamo next to Petruzziello. Ready, go, and Italy is ahead: cross from the right by Consolini and precise header by Ventriglia. Just before the half hour mark, the Roma striker hits the ball high with a right foot. Ventriglia was again the protagonist in the 37th minute, but the number 9’s left-footed shot went wide. Before the break (39′), Romanelli’s solo ended with a shot that wasn’t wide enough. An opportunity for Scotland too: cross from the right by Jessica Husband for Martin’s header, with the ball finishing just above the crossbar of Nespolo’s goal.

After 8′ of the second half Scotland equalized with Berry who, after entering the penalty area, first found Consolini’s rebound then Nespolo’s goal on the tap in. Italian reaction entrusted to Galli: high left foot after a 30 meter run with the ball at his feet. Italy, however, found itself exposed in defense in the 14th minute: an assist from Berry for Martin who struck Nespolo with his left foot. Ferraresi’s attempt to reach the immediate equalizer: a left foot deflected by a Scottish defender. Bedini’s right-foot shot was also high in the 18th minute, while in the 25th minute Ferraresi called Thomson to deflect. The Scotland goalkeeper risked giving Italy a 2-2 draw, with a wrong clearance, redeeming himself on Ventriglia, before Erin Husband’s save on the line on Romanelli and the third high attempt also by the Inter player. Italy’s pressure was rewarded in the 87th minute, when substitute Copelli was brought down in the area by Sharkey. From the spot, Ferraresi was glacial in converting the penalty to make it 2-2, which earned him second place. And in the final Ferraresi even came close to making it 3-2, but at the final whistle it was still a celebration for Italy and also for Scotland, who will continue their journey.

The second round of League A will decide the seven teams that will join Sweden in the final tournament (5-18 May 2024), which will also serve as UEFA qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in the Dominican Republic.

MARKERS: 5′ pt Ventriglia (I), 8′ st Berry (S), 14′ Martin (S), 43′ pen. Ferrara (I)

SCOTLAND: Thomson; J. Husband, G. Robertson, Husband, McArthur; Sharkey, A. Robertson (40′ st Burns), Murray (34′ st Linden), Black; Berry, Martin. Available: Halliday, Paton, Robin, Mcstay, Daniel, Mcknight, Gray. All. Macdonald

ITALY: Medlar; Consolini, Petruzziello, Pomati, Santoro; Bedini (35′ st Copelli), Cherubini, Ferraresi; Ventriglia, Romanelli, Galli. Available: Bucci, Paniccia, Ieva, Mariotti, Baccaro, Bertola, Di Girolamo. All. Leandri

REFEREE: Overtoom (Netherlands)
ASSISTANTS: Van Gilst (Netherlands), Vargova (Slovakia)
4th OFFICER: Bockova (Slovakia)

NOTE: ammonite Pomati (I), Consolini (I), Martin (S)

The A3 Group calendar (9-15 October)

First day (9 October)
France-Scotland 3-0
ITALY-Slovenia 4-0

Second day (12 October)
Slovenia-Scotland 1-3
France-ITALY 4-3

Third day (15 October)
Slovenia-France 0-8
Scotland-ITALY 2-2