Group G: Late Girelli header gives Italy perfect start
Auckland: Cristiana Girelli came off the bench to score an 87th-minute winner over Argentina as Italy began their FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 with a 1-0 victory in a feisty encounter at Eden Park.
It looked like Italy would have to settle for a draw in their Group G opener, watched by almost 31,000, fans after Arianna Caruso and Valentina Giacinti both had goals disallowed in the first half.
But Girelli, the Juventus veteran who was Italy's top scorer in qualifying, came on for 16-year-old Giulia Dragoni near the end and needed just four minutes to make her mark with a header.
The result sets Italy up perfectly for their next game, against group favourites Sweden in Wellington on Saturday.