Italy pulled off one of many greatest upsets in women’s World Cup historical past on Sunday, beating the closely favored Australians, 2-1. By the stats, you may guess that Australia was the significantly better staff, and that Italy received fortunate. The Italians scored twice, however solely recorded 5 photographs. That’s normally a fairly good defensive efficiency.

However this sport featured a little bit of a wierd circumstance: Australia was taking part in an ultra-aggressive offside lure with sluggish central defenders, and it solely simply barely labored. Italy had two targets controversially disallowed for slim offside calls, plus a VAR penalty overview for handball inexplicably denied. Italy may have very simply scored 5 targets.

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As my very good colleagues Michael Caley and Aaron West put it…

Australia’s defending on each Italy targets was very, very unhealthy. They have been items.

This was, to a point, anticipated. The Australians gave up 5 targets to america and three to the Netherlands in warm-up matches for this World Cup. This web site listed them as essentially the most entertaining staff to observe particularly as a result of they stink at protection.

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However widespread consensus was that Australia’s different qualities can be extra essential than its deficiencies within the group stage. The Matildas ought to be capable to win shootouts with their superior athleticism, expertise, and celebrity Sam Kerr. And but, they regarded utterly baffled by a staff taking part in a deep 4-5-1 and a quick counter-attacking type, which is nearly the obvious and primary tactic to make use of towards a staff like Australia. The Aussies ought to have been well-prepared for it.

It’s way more enjoyable and fulfilling to reward underdog winners than it’s to trash favorites who disappoint, however Italy didn’t do something particular. Australia was simply very unhealthy, and in essentially the most predictable means too. It now has to think about dramatic lineup and tactical adjustments.

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