Italian players celebrate victory after the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group G match between Italy and Argentina at Eden Park in Auckland on July 24, 2023 in Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand.
Substitute Cristiana Girelli’s 87th-minute header gave Italy a 1-0 win over Argentina in their Women’s World Cup opener at Eden Park in Auckland on Monday, denying the South Americans a first win at the global soccer showpiece.
Veteran striker Girelli, 33, replaced 16-year-old midfielder Giulia Dragoni in the 83rd minute and needed only four minutes to make an impact, beating goalkeeper Vanina Correa with a fine header to seal a hard-fought victory.
Italy’s Ariana Caruso and Valentina Giacinti both had goals ruled offside in a competitive first half after Argentina nearly made a sensational start to the game, when Mariana Larroquette’s bicycle kick went narrowly wide in the second minute.
Goalkeeper Francesca Durante pushed away Argentine midfielder Florencia Bonsegundo’s attempt from a free kick in stoppage time, ensuring Italy earned three points to join Sweden on top of Group G.
More than 30,000 spectators showed up the game between Italy and Argentina.