Italy stun Australia with last-gasp winner
World Cup Group C, Stade du Hainaut - Australia 1 (Kerr 22') Italy 2 (Bonansea 56, 90')
Italy marked their first World Cup appearance in 20 years with a last-gasp victory over Australia in the opening game of Group C.
Australia's Sam Kerr had failed to find the net in her previous two World Cups, but she finally broke her duck to give The Matildas the lead in the 22nd minute.
Kerr saw her penalty saved by Laura Giuliani after Sara Gama wrestled her to the ground but she was on hand to tap in from the rebound.
Barbara Bonansea thought she had broken the deadlock for Italy minutes earlier, but VAR adjudged she was centimetres offside, however, the forward grabbed a leveller against the run of play in the second-half, pouncing on a mistake by Clare Polkinghorne in defence.
Samantha Kerr (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women's World Cup Group C football match between Australia and Italy, on June 9, 2019, at the Hainaut Stadium.Eurosport
And Australia were again the makers of their own undoing deep into injury-time as goalkeeper Lydia Williams was caught all at sea from a deep corner delivery to allow Bonansea to head home the winner.
The defeat represents a huge shock for Australia who must now simply beat Brazil on Thursday to have any chance of progressing, while Italy will almost surely seal qualification with a victory over minnows Jamaica on the same day.
TALKING POINT: Azzuri continue perfect start for European sides
Italy manager Milena Bertolini had watched fellow European sides France, Germany, Spain and Norway win their opening games on day one and two of the competition. However, the task at hand for the Azzuri was much more difficult. Each player making their World Cup debut and facing the formidable Matildas, ranked number six in the world, Italy showed no fear on their first appearance in the tournament since 1999.
They came into the game in fine fettle, having won seven of nine games, and at times they played their illustrious opponents off the park, twice denied by marginal offside calls. They will take great satisfaction from beating one of the competition's favourites and with a game against minnows Jamaica to follow, must be quietly confident of making it into the latter stages.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Barbara Bonansea (Italy)
Led the Italian line with frightening pace, movement and awareness, the forward was denied a hat-trick by the slightest of margins.
- Australia: Williams 5, Catley 6, Kennedy, 6, Polkinghorne 5, Carpenter 6, Logarzo 6, Foord 6, Van Egmond 6, Yallop 6, Raso 7, Kerr 7..subs: Gorry 5, Kellond-Knight NA, De Vanna 5.
- Italy: Giuliani 7, Bergamaschi 6, Gama 6, Linari 6, Guagni 7, Cernoia 6, Giugliano 7, Galli 5, Bonansea 9, Mauro 6, Girelli 7..subs: Giacinti 5, Bartoli 6, Sabatino 6
- 9' - GOAL CANCELLED! Controversy! Bonansea thought she had broken the offside trap as she latched onto a fine through-ball, held off a challenge from Catley before poking it past Williams. Her celebrations are cut short, however, as the offside flag is up.
- 21' - PENALTY TO AUSTRALIA! Kerr is wrestled to the ground by Gama as a cross comes in from the right and the referee points to the spot, brandishing a yellow card as well.
- 22' - GOAL! Australia 1-0 Italy: Kerr sees her penalty saved by Giuliani but she reacts quickest to tap in the rebound. She has her first ever goal at the World Cup!
- 81' - GOAL DISALLOWED! Italy fume. Sabatino is left unmarked to latch onto a through-ball. She knocks her first effort against the bar and then converts the rebound from a tight angle. It won't count, however, as the flag is up once again. Looked very close.
- 90'+5 GOAL! - Australia 1-2 Italy: Australia are punished for lax defending right at the death! Williams is all at sea as a corner delivery is sent deep and Bonansea capitalises, heading down at the far post to win Italy the game!
Barbara Bonansea's goal for Italy was their first at the Women's World Cup since 27 June 1999 against Mexico. This gap of 7,287 days is the longest between two goals by a single team in the tournament's history.