Italian striker Cristiana Girelli made history on Friday when she scored her country’s first hat trick at a Women’s World Cup tournament.
The 29-year-old opened up the scoring against tournament debutant Jamaica in the 11th minute after slotting a penalty kick past goalkeeper Sydney Schneider.
It was her second attempt from the spot, after the first attempt was well blocked by Schneider, only to be called back because the Jamaican goalie moved off her line too quickly.
FULL COVERAGE OF THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Girelli continued her scoring prowess in the 25th minute during a simple corner kick into the box that Jamaica couldn’t clear. She was in the right place at the right time to put the ball into the back of the net with her thigh.
Italy would finish the first half up by two and it would only be a matter of seconds before Girelli added to the tally in the second half to complete her hat trick.
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Seconds into the second half, Girelli received a great cross into the box by Manuela Giugliano to nod the ball into the back of the net and past Schneider.
The Italian women, taking a piece of the American women’s playbook, did not let off the gas being three goals up, adding another two – both by Aurora Galli in the 71st and 81st minutes – to finish off Jamaica and qualify for the round of 16.
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Jamaica, making their debut at this year’s tournament, lost its opening match against Brazil. They play Australia on Tuesday for their final group-stage match.
The Italian women return to action against Brazil on Tuesday. Brazil face the potentially humiliating prospect of being eliminated at the group stages if they are unable to defeat the Italians and Australia beat Jamaica. They lost to the Australians 3-2.